Tag Archives: Christmas

Tis’ the Season for Festive Foolishness

I advocate for leading a life of sophistication and collected calm. Anything rowdy or without deeper meaning is to be avoided. As the kids might say, I keep it classy.sammytree

For example, I support the attendance of dinner parties where one can commune with thought leaders and sophisticates. Mingling with those who elevate thought and decorum is the best use of one’s evenings.img_2419

There may be occasions where physical exertion is appropriate, but dignity should predominate. If an outing is to happen, one need not lower one’s self. img_2985

Music is an important part of creating an atmosphere of celebratory sophistication. Many of the great symphonies and orchestras perform the classics during this holiday season as a service toward the elevation of humanity.img_3341

When dining one should not overindulge. Moderation takes a back seat only to presentation. Please remember that seating arrangements and plating are what truly makes a dining experience “fine”.tghl2098

There is at this time of year a tradition of gift giving. I reservedly participate but remind us all that the appropriate response should always be quiet reserve and calm.kujg1621

I like to think of myself as an example of intellectualism and decorum. The world needs more of this. There is far too much noise and irreverence. I am above such things and would that this were true for us all.img_3490

Yes. A paragon of elevation am I. And as such, I bid you all a happy new year.xqcy1470

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For Christmas I Want More Christ-like Behavior: from everyone

I like stuff, especially nice stuff. Sometimes I focus on “stuff” or things, because inanimate objects can be subjected to scrutiny without rebuffing the scrutinizer. People, or society, do no such thing and not only despise scrutiny, but too often dish it out in inhumane ways. I may be guilty of this myself, but for today’s Christmas wish I’m ignoring my own faults and look at others.IMG_1647

For Christmas I wish people with money would stop complaining about those with less.

Even those of us, especially those of us, who work hard yet still struggle to almost hold on to middle class, should stop complaining or worse yet blaming poor people for the problems of the world.passed out subway

I wish we, all of us, would stop that. It isn’t Christ like. This is Christmas.

Those in poverty are not without their faults, nor are the middle or the rich. What the poor are without is comfort and power. Why would those of us with something, no matter how little, resent those with less? The idea that the poor are the source of modern American troubles is not only false, but in my mind, a morally indefensible idea. WE, the collective we, including the rich and the middle are all guilty of moral corruption and I am tired of the demonization of those who inhabit the bottom rung of society.couchontheblock

I can think of nothing crueler, nothing as polar opposite of charity and kindness, than to abuse (in any way) those who suffer in poverty. For Christmas I wish we as a nation would be more Christ-like.

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A Blanket, Sorta.

Stick with me for a minute on this one. Textiles influence our surroundings much more than most folks realize. Picnics, bedspreads, beach towels, tablecloths, throw blankets, rugs, drapery, etc. They can come to dominate an aesthetic without even trying, or despite whatever else is going on. For instance, you could have a sleek lined modern bedroom, but if you add an Incredible Hulk bedspread,  all you have is an Incredible Hulk bedroom. See what I mean?

For Christmas I would like some blankets… but I have opinions.tumblr_m8ndrp4uJB1qd7xd8o1_500

I like Persian rugs just fine but would prefer to personally collect them from Persia. I have never been there. I have however been to Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and California. Not that they are similar places or produce similar products, but replace the image of an office floor draped in Persian rugs with Navajo textiles and that is what I want. Earth tones, hand made, meaningful designs in a western theme in line with my upbringing.

They may not be manufactured but crafted.

il_340x270.702297867_bemwManufacture away with some navy and white striped lightweight sheet-tablecloth-cloth-whatever. I could use large, lightweight (linen would be perfect), navy and white striped bolts of cloth. A day at the beach is great, but a day at the beach where the hodge-podge beach towels are replaced with classic nautical colors just moved up a few notches. It would work the same on summer canopies or sandy picnics. Just remember, thick, navy and white stripes.Texture of a red and white checkered picnic blanket. Red linen c

Add to the list the basic red and white checked linen tablecloth or picnic blanket. This one is for grassy fields as opposed to sandy dunes but pretty much the same as above. Classic, clean, adds to the occasion rather than detracts.Hudson Bay Blanket TXT0233

It does in fact get cold in California. Even if it doesn’t, I do intend to go to cold places occasionally. There is no better answer to cold than the classy and historic Hudson Bay blanket. In my mind this blanket recall French fur trappers and Iroquois. Neither of those are very West Coast but I refuse to completely assimilate. I like the clean lines and simple colors.

Picture your clean line modernist bedroom with the Hulk bedspread, then replace those sheets with the Hudson Bay blanket. Ta-Da! Your modern sleekness is still there but now you have added some warmth and history, which is no simple task with modernism. Hence the power of the Hudson Bay blanket.

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A Tie is Not Just a Tie: it has to be a somewhat specific tie

My wardrobe is completely missing one of the basics. A very basic basic, which for me, a basic guy, is both sad and a little surprising. I wear ties semi-regularly, probably three times per week. I am not opposed to ties in general, though I am very opposed to many ties specifically. Not any old tie will do, though many old ties are perfect, as age is not the specifier.

There are rules for these sorts of things. At least there are for me, which is why this specific sartorial gap is a personal shame. I should fix this , but since this is “the season” maybe some advice. When giving neck-ware as a gift, one should know the rules or forever be doomed to the back of the closet in sit-com fodder fashion.lanvin-white-pin-dot-tie-product-1-4273713-026052035

I do not own a single pin-dot tie. Sad.

Polka dots are not for me, they are not the same thing. not at all.

I have striped ties. I mostly prefer stripes of two alternating colors, three at the most, but mostly two. And they should be thick/rep stripes, not pin stripes.photo(6)

Club ties are great, as long as they represent a club or organization you are actually connected to.

Solid colors always work.

No paisley.images

No characters, caricatures, or complex designs/patterns. Just no.

Plaid is good, preferably in a tartan that has some meaning.

These are not THE rules, they are just my rules.

As to the pin dots, they are to all be the same color. As in the tie is one color, and all of the dots are a different color, but not the same color as the tie.

I was once given a very generous and thoughtful gift of a tie. This person knew I wore ties but knew nothing of ties on their own. I was flattered by the thought but only once could I bring myself to put that thing around my neck and only then because it was under a sweater. Because really, why would I want to wear a picture of Winnie the Pooh around my neck?IMG_9513

Pin dots. Period.

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What I Want: books. Ya know, to read and stuff.

I am not overly literary but I like books. I like to read them, but I also like the books themselves. Pages, covers, stacks on shelves, it is a Chipp Kidd sort of graphic designer bibliophile appreciation.kavabowl (2)

I like the ideas contained in books, so I do really read them, but I also stare at them. I stare at them a lot, especially if they have pictures. I got a first generation Kindle back when those things were new and downloaded about two tons of books by dead people. I’m still working my way through Bancroft’s History of the United States. I used to amuse myself on long flights thinking about how I had just brought all 10 volumes on board without going over my luggage weight limit. But this amusement aside, I still wish I had all 10 of those volumes on my shelf so I could stare at them.booksandbooks

So in the spirit of the holiday, here is a list of books I do not have, but would love to stare at:

Try for the Gold by Mark Ryan

The Ivy League by Daniel Cappello

Rowing Blazers by Jack Carlson and F.E. Castleberry

The Blanket: an Illustrated History of the Hudson Bay Point Blanket by Harold Tichenor

As to books I have, and have read, I suggest you pick up Religion of a Different Color by W. Paul Reeve.IMG_4860

 

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A Wish List: tis the season and all that

I am impossible to shop for. Not because I have everything, quite the opposite really, but moreso because I generally know exactly what I want. In the following posts I will be highlighting things I think are worth wanting. Some big, some small.

Some of the things I already have, some I will never have, and others I may eventually obtain but whichever or whatever, the list is to follow.

Examples:

Membership to the Salumi Society with Boccalone.com

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Size 35, 301 Navy boardshorts from Birdwell Beach Britches.

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Cotopaxi tent, black canteen, Tikal shell in gray, Nepal pack, and a Cusco bag in “Alpaca”.

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A Navy 2 button suit with side vents from Commonwealth Proper. Hook me up Craig.

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An authentic, should probably be in a museum sort of thing, samurai helmet.

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DIY wood surfboard kit.

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The list goes on and on. I wish (for numerous reasons) I didn’t have such a list… but I do.

Stay tuned

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Deck the Halls and Whatnot

I’m not exactly sure about the word whatnot, or how you really deck halls. I know what is meant if something or someone is all “decked out”, but I’m unsure as to how it came to mean that. I don’t care enough to investigate the words, but tis the season for decking of all kinds.

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There were in fact multiple trees in Riverside’s grand hotel, and one at the Grove as well. These trees may be sturdy but know nothing of snow.

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I am doing my best to look a lot like Christmas as well. I wear green and red and garnish my mouth with candy canes. I sing Feliz Navidad, Mele Kalikimaka, and happy Hanukkah loud for all to hear. I do not think my singing is spreading cheer but I am happy.
IMG_1016An associate of mine complained the other day about those who say happy holidays. She was embittered by those who did not say Merry Christmas. I asked her if she had any Jewish friends and she did not think that a relevant question. I smiled and replied that her’s was not a relevant complaint. She had no problem with me humming jingle bells, which I did, merrily.IMG_0783

So whatever your flavor, whatever you say, tis the season to say it happily. Yes there is plenty going on right now that is dark and horrid, and there has been for quite some time. Bah Humbug, happy Festivus, and God bless us, every one.

 

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