Archive for February, 2009

On Daily Storage

picture-12

“I could not be a guy,” Brianna told me one day when going to Delta to do homework. Insert an imaginary snarky/sarcastic response by me here if you will. However, before such an interjection could be formulated in my brain, she continued: “I have to carry so much [expletive deleted] with me.”

I Tumbled her quote and my response My actual response was far too nerdy to mention here, though in short it was, “sport coats, my dear.”
Truly, this was used as one of my arguments for wearing suits and sport coats as often as is feasible; they afford me extra space: at least three more pockets than simply pants alone.

Consider, if you will for a moment, the contents of my pockets on any given day:

  • wallet
  • iPhone
  • Zippo
  • keys
  • chapstick
  • flash drive

For the sake of tedium, I’ll give you the breakdown: my iPhone, wallet, one or two flash drives, and sometimes checkbook will go in the suit or sport coat pockets. I keep my keys, chapstick and money clip, then, in my front pants pockets. This will leave me with my back pants pockets empty (I cannot stand to sit on anything, especially a wallet, though I will occasionally make an exception for receipts and other such small scraps of paper that can be forgotten) and often an underinhabited jacket pocket or two. (if this doesn’t make me look anal-retentive, I don’t know what will; maybe that I only like to have one item in each pocket?)

This setup works well for almost all daily situations. This past weekend (and similar occasions), however yielded the exception to that rule.

Let me paint you another picture:

3206092503_37b287e9ff_b

(haha, sorry. couldn't resist)

My father and I attended (and often attend as a sort of tradition of ours) an annual Men’s Conference through, for lack of a better description, a church community group. At such an event as this, I carry my Bible for reference, my water bottle for hydration and my note book for (uhh..) note taking.

The problem inherent in this situation is the natural human inclination to introduce yourself to strangers. This may not be an inclination I hold as a rule, but it is bound to happen at such an event. Anyway, though it would normally be a simple undertaking, my full hands become an issue. The situation could be claimed awkward as I stare blankly at the person’s outstretched hand a second before my brain clicks and I begin the ridiculous shift of all my belongings to one hand, often now precariously balanced (this same situation occurs in wedding buffet lines when one has a drink and salad bowl in hand and attempts to pick up silverware and the main course – doom is inevitable).

If the other person is not impatient and thinking of me as an idiot by this point, I know not why, for I certainly feel like I’ve ruined the entire introduction experience in thirteen awkward seconds of fumbling.

Situations such as this make me long for the days of yore when, in school, I could be excused wearing a book bag everywhere. This brilliant device handled such situations with ease and grace. Mine in particular had–aside from its spacious pockets to hold more than any Boy Scout would ever dream of–not one, but TWO mesh pockets: one for my water bottle and the other for a coffee! Despite its strength, in the post-collegiate world, a book bag has no place as an acceptable accessory for a suit. It just looks ridiculous. Do a quick Google search for images of a suit with a book bag. No hits? Exactly.

Sure you can carry a briefcase for professionalism, but that doesn’t solve the coffee/water problem at all. And please do not even MENTION those danged rolly backpack/suitcase things. Those have no place
ANYWHERE. EVER. There; it’s been said.

So where does that leave us? Admitting a truth of which we were fully aware but afraid to admit: girls got it right. When it comes to efficiency, the purse wins. There is no male equivalent. The wide variety of sizes, styles and prices ensure that every situation is covered. Furthermore, they have the option to leave BOTH hands free when carried over the shoulder.

Ever tried to smuggle a soda into the movies with cargo pants or a sport coat?

No can do. (Besides, cargo pants are long since being cool; and even when they were cool, the biggest faux pas was keeping ANYTHING in those pockets. Who can’t help but to vilipend such a useless article of clothing…)

With a purse?

No problemo!

So, cheers to the inventor of the purse. I must say, I envy women a bit for these. I guess until a suitable (hahaha, pun!) equivalent appears in men’s style, I’m stuck either not carrying everything I need at any given time or doing the awkward juggling thing when the situation arises.

Then again, I suppose I could just find a girlfriend…

2blogwars

Read about this and more on many, many other topics on the blogs of my competitors!

Griffis

Schanz

The Blog is the New Resume | Traces of Inspiration

The Blog is the New Resume | Traces of Inspiration.

I don’t think mine is. I could go to the bother of having a personal and a professional one, one for fun and one for my portfolio, but they fit together pretty well for the moment, I think. And as I’m not currently in the midst of any huge projects worth blogging about (in my mind), I continue in my set path.

The article has some interesting insight though.

Should Gender Equality Extend to Drinking?

Should Gender Equality Extend to Drinking? — New York Magazine.

Kind of interesting look at drinking and how it relates to gender equality. Also give an interesting perspective on the American culture of drinking as well. I wish I could write like this.

On Airports and Flying

ohare

I’ll cut straight to the chase:

I love airports.

I’m not sure what it is about them. The mall-like atmosphere. The crowds of people completely absorbed in what they’re doing, where they’re going. The moving sidewalks. The ability to go to the bar and not have to worry about driving afterward. The adrenaline knowing you’ll soon be flying. Any or all of these could be why. I just know I love them.

I discovered this when I was watching a movie some time ago. Obviously an airport played into it somehow. My best guess at the moment is Dogma. Regardless, watching the airport scene in whatever movie it happened to be made me nostalgic for the last trip I took in a plane.

I’ve flown a total of three times (round-trip) in my life. The first was to Florida before I was 5. I don’t remember any of it. The second was in fifth or sixth grade when I went with a classmate to Washington, D.C. I don’t remember the plane ride nor do I remember much of the trip aside from snippets and what we wrote in the trip journal. Finally, in September of 2007, my father, uncle and I flew to Pittsburgh to visit my grandmother on her birthday.

This one I remember.

To qualify, the Saginaw (MBS International) airport is kind of lame. It is a small airport after all. With this being the only one in recent memory (with wedding receptions being held there and participating in dropping people off/picking them up)  I didn’t have really any strong opinion of airports other than all that is ever said badly about them in bad sitcoms. However, once we hit DTW and spent a few hours in layover, I loved it. The plethora of activities to keep you occupied and the bustle of activity were initially overwhelming, but fun nonetheless.

I understand if one were on business and had other things occupying their mind, there might be less to enjoy. Likewise for someone with an excessive fear of flying. I, on the other hand, saw the positive. I was on a mini-vacation. My father and uncle were engrossed in philosophical conversations. I took to wandering. Camera and cash in hand, there was plenty to do.

I argued with a customer (not heatedly, but in a friendly manner) about this topic. He dislikes airports. They are strictly utilitarian. They accomplish a purpose. And he’s a photographer. So it’s not the artist in me; maybe it’s just me and my naivety. The rush of flying is still relatively new to me. There you are, in the sky, surrounded by the clouds. Opine it’s annoyances however you will, but the air travel experience is still romantic to me.

clouds

On Shoes

shoes

I need a new pair of work shoes. Badly. Currently, the pair above are my sole pair (pun intended). They used to be one of my nicer pairs of dress shoes. Chocolate suede captoes purchased from either Penny’s or Kohl’s my sophomore year of college. I even lent them to a friend for a wedding as he had no dress shoes that went with his outfit. I maintained the suede nap with a suede brush and put shoe trees in them once I could afford to waste money on cedar shoe maintenance.

At some point, however, they were designated as work shoes. Perhaps at the beginning it was merely out of occasional necessity. I read on a forum that wearing the same pair of shoes more than one day in a row was a bad thing (can’t for the life of me remember why that is anymore). So these and my cheap tan boot-looking shoes (also formerly used as dress shoes) and a pair of black steel-toed low-top boots were in the work rotation. I think the reasoning for the style of them all was that, at the time, we were still required to wear “dressy” leatheresque shoes to work.

The suede made it into the rotation when I found a nicer pair of chocolate suede captoes at a thrift store for about a tenth of the cost of these. Hence, these were delegated solely as work shoes.

When I stopped wearing  black entirely for two years, the two pairs of brown shoes were the only two I’d use for work. Five or six days a week, for twenty hours a week I wore them. As these dark brown captoes were suede and considerably nicer, they were worn less often. Alas, and inevitably, the tan crappy ones eventually met their maker, becoming far too uncomfortable for even two hours at a time.

To say the least, that put a remarkable strain on those cap-toes. One could say, they had some big shoes to fill. No one should say that. Ever.

From the image, you can see that the suede factor is no longer an issue. the coffee, milk and salt stains are permanent. The lining: shot. Cushioning? Forget it. The numerous cracks and gouges in the leather are “character.” They need to be replaced.

Still, I can’t bear to get a new pair. Is it nostalgia? Now, we really haven’t been through any great experiences together. I am not enough of a girl to hold on to old shoes. I think it is a utilitarian thing. They still work. Though I wouldn’t wear them outside of work (read: in public) they look better than sneakers with the image I try to convey, even at the coffee shop.

The excuses I have for refusing (or at least hesitating) to get new shoes is two-fold. The first excuse, money, isn’t really a legitimate excuse. I can afford to buy new shoes. Sure, it leaves less money available for the things I actually want to buy, but it is very doable, and the things I want can wait another two weeks.

No, the real reason I cannot buy a new pair is more fear related. I am job-hunting. I just know that as soon as I buy a new pair, I will get a decent job and I can wear one of my 15 other pairs of shoes (pairs that I do not wish to get scuffed and otherwise fall into such a state of disrepair). However, there is the fear that if I do not buy a new pair, I may never find a new/better job.

Classic Catch-22.

It may seem superstitious, but it’s Murphy’s Law. Buy new crap shoes, get a new job. Don’t buy new beaters, stay with lousy job and have sore feet.

Maybe the money is worth being wasted.

On Friends

friends

A conjecture was recently made to me that I questioned and pondered. You can be one of three kinds of friends.

  1. You are the friend that is called when someone has boy/girl issues and needs an understanding and caring ear.
  2. I don’t remember this one
  3. You will be the kind of friend someone calls to tell they had a shitty day and will respond with “let’s go get drunk”.

Actually, those might have really been the only two she said. She claimed to be in the latter category, though it is not always crass. She isn’t the “touchy-feely” type who will talk about feelings. Sure, she’ll listen if you have a problem, but there had better be beer involved, because there won’t be any crying. Commiserating sure, but not crying. That made me wonder what kind of friend I am. I’ll go out for a beer if someone is having a bad day. Then again, I’ll also lend an ear and a shoulder to cry on if need be.

Then I got to thinking. Can we be a different friend to different people? Do different friends require different methods of consolation? And if so, and you modify your behaviour based on the friend you’re around, to whom do you turn when you have your own issues?

(sorry. My Name is Earl this week inspired me to do a Bradshaw-esque aside)

Joking questions aside, what kind of person are you when you change your methods based on your current company? Do you change who you talk to based on the situation you are going through? There are certain people I will moan about a bad day to, but few (if any) I would discuss very personal issues with. That may be the guy in me, but I do truly tend to keep my personal problems to myself.

What about you? Do you discuss personal issues with friends? If so, are they different friends than those you drown your faux sorrows in beer with?

How About Orange: Heart-shaped paper clips

How About Orange: Heart-shaped paper clips.

Jessica, this is a winner. Too bad I found it too late and don’t have anyone or any where which to use them. Nonetheless, cool idea. Filed in my “use it next year, Lord Willing” file.




Hello; my name is Nicolaus E. Witchger. I am a graphic designer from Saginaw, MI best known for wearing bow ties and drinking single-malt scotch, dark beer, and espresso.

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