Archive for the 'pedantry' Category

Small Guys

I’m not a large person. Not in stature nor in presence. So I overcompensate by being bawdy and by making “dress clothes” my normal attire.

The former is for shock value. The latter, attention. Much like dying my hair and collecting flair in high school.

The latter, however, is difficult for kids of my stature. My neck is a size smaller than the smallest dress shirts sold at JCPenny. Suit size? 2 smaller than the normally offered smallest size at almost ANY department store.

Years ago, I found refuge in Express for Men’s small 1MX shirts. They were great…until they did what women’s stores often do and make their smalls mediums and so on. So their smalls no longer fit me.

Then they made an XS. Like American Eagle before them…my day had come! Or so I thought…

[to be continued]

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A Positive Rage

What is a web log for if not to occasionally complain and rant about things that get under your skin? While such pedantry has no place on a professional blog, I believe this subject breaches protocol in an apropos fashion becoming of my online persona.

I recently saw the Hold Steady in concert with my good friend Christi. I know I’ve probably mentioned it before, but it was likely the single most exhilarating concert I’ve ever experienced. The energy and love emanating from the band on stage was unsurpassed by anyone I’ve ever seen perform. It certainly didn’t hurt that they were my favourite band to begin with.

To prepare myself, before the show, I listened to nothing but their music for two weeks prior. As I learned from seeing Ben Folds live, I sometimes will not know a song they perform. Though well versed in the catalogue of Ben, he played some unfamiliar ones that, while still enjoyable to witness, were not as fully experienced as the ones I knew by heart.

So, in those preceding weeks, I did some research. Despite it’s often bad rap, wikipedia is a great compendium of information regarding bands and their releases. Through it, I discovered that the Australian version of Boys and Girls in America had four bonus tracks and the European version of Stay Positive had three. As I already owned the American release of Boys and Girls in America, I set about locating my missing tracks via various means. Said tracks were fairly easily located.

The Stay Positive bonuses, however, were slightly more elusive. The copies I was able to find were poorly ripped and had many glitches reminiscent of mp3s from the late nineties. As I did not own Stay Positive legitimately, I promptly ordered the UK version used from amazon.com. Though cheaper than new, it was still a good eight or nine dollars more than the American version. I was quite happy with my purchase, seeing it both as a worthwhile investment in a good band and a guarantee of the unadulterated tracks. For a while, I was content.

Fast forward to last night. Or rather, a few days ago. Last night is really the climax of the story. I was browsing the hold steady dot com and found their twitter link. As they do not post prolifically, I though following them would not bloat my twitter feed and so I did just that. Some promos were tweeted about their upcoming DVD/cd. These I largely ignored as I try to make a point a) not to buy live albums and b) not to waste time watching videos online.

On a side note, the reason I do not generally buy live albums is this: archive dot org is a great source of live recordings. It also highlights what sucks about live recordings: shoddy recording by a fan will not get one the full effect of the live performance. Also, if you weren’t at the concert in question, at least for me, you don’t get the feeling of reliving the experience, so this point is kind of in the same vein as my first. Still, the site is a great way to get a feel for an artist you may have not heard yet or even heard of and offers a legal way to sample their music.

Likewise, the hold steady live compendium is a great source for all things live by Craig Finn and company. The quality is what you’d expect, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it won’t disappoint.

My general distaste for recorded live music aside, I did not ignore a tweet regarding a stream of one of their new tracks off the album. The track was so excellent that I utilized a certain firefox plugin to allow me to encode the stream as an mp3 to take with me until the album arrived. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that that song alone convinced me to order A Positive Rage.

Amazon shipped the two disc set very promptly and I ripped it then stuck the disc in my car stereo and have been listening to it since. It’s great! I can’t speak for the DVD just yet but will update when I can give an opinion.

Last night, as I mentioned earlier, was the moment of truth. I put the cd in and ran the program to get my free bonus tracks. As these programs usually are, all it contained was a link. This link required my e-mail address. Soon, I was e-mailed a link to download the songs. Excitement!

The one track was the one I loved, 40Bucks, now owned legitimately (something I hope someday to say of all my music). The second, a new track called Spectres was one which I’d never heard. The remaining three, however, were the very tracks I bought the UK Stay Positive for: Ask For Addedall, Cheyenne Sunrise and Two Handed Handshake !!!

A Positive Rage boiled through my veins!

Truly, the previous statement was only aimed to be hyperbole. Also, I wasn’t particularly angry, per se. It just kind of sucked. I suppose had I waited and done my research, I’d’ve known what the bonus tracks were. That, however would’ve required buying Positive Rage before Stay Positive, which isn’t something that would have happened. Regardless, for a live album, A Positive Rage is quite well recorded; ’tis a far cry from those found at the compendium. Plus, the pleasure of the new song and the the legal version of my favourite song was well worth the money.

The moral is this: patience is a virtue and will pay off in the end. Also, don’t steal music. Thank you.

As of Late

Someone once told me, and it was likely a professor, that you should never apologize for your work before you present it to your audience. Bearing that in mind, I apologize not for the work in question, but rather for the [Live]Journalistic nature of it. If you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t written anything in a while. This is my excuse piece.

I’ve been busy. Quite busy, in fact. Two jobs have never posed such a time suck as they have this past week or so. (satellite television, too, is quite the time suck, but that will come later) There was a time when I had 20 hours a week at both SVSU and Crumbs as well as taking 12 or so credits. Furthermore, two summers ago I pulled 40 hours a week at SVSU and 20 or so at Crumbs. So I can’t really say I cannot handle having a lot on my plate. I don’t know what happened this time.

Actually, I know what happened, I just don’t know why it affected me so on this occasion. What happened was an instance of the old adage: “When it rains, it pours.” Truly, this is something that happens far too frequently in life, making this barrage of stressful occurrences even more so. Be it having three prospective dates when you are in a committed relationship, or two jobs wanting forty hours from you in the same calendar week. Obviously, the latter is along the lines of what i had to deal with.

Between my two jobs–barista/shift supervisor at Crumbs Gourmet Cookie Café and design/marketing intern at Wolverine Bank–not a whole lot is usually demanded of me in terms of my time. A good forty hours a week is actually hard to come by even combined. However, when the bank has several new product lines and three home shows that they need them rolled out before, it can be expected that half the staff of Crumbs (mostly college students) will be going on spring break–that’s a variant of Murphy’s Law, no? This situation demands 40+ hours of time from those at Crumbs not taking a spring break (read: “Me”) and a good twenty hours from the bank (up from my usual five).

Throw the sporadic social bouts with friends, the occasional dogsitting in Hemlock (a 30 minute drive from work) and my need for sleep to function and we’re left with little time for blogging.

I have, however, partaken in a few enjoyable yet brief side projects. They both involve liquor.

First, a few friends and I went to TGI Friday’s and enjoyed our first mojito, Friday’s “Ultimate Mojito.” It was heavenly. We decided to try to make our own, a rather futile affair indeed. I was not discouraged, though, and, taking my previous experience with infused liquors (jalapeño vodka and mint bourbon) to mind, I soaked the remained of our fresh mint in the rum.

The mint turned what was originally white rum into this colour

The mint turned what was originally white rum into this colour

It didn’t really improve our mojitos (we still need practice, and maybe to measure ingredients next time) but it was fun and made some tasty rum.

I mentioned the dogsitting I occasionally take on. I watch the dog and the house, this time it was from Friday until Monday. Their wifi and cell towers in the rural neighborhood are non-existent so I am forced to watch Satellite television day and night. I don’t complain. Still, that is SUCH a time suck. With so many channels, I may not be watching something I love, but damn it I’m loving the options I’ve got. Still, this visit to their house left me with a little more motivation: friends might actually make the drive out to the boondocks to visit! I must be a good host. So, I did what any other good host with a little time on his hands would do: Infused Vodka. this time, I used a commonly known recipe that Trent sent me and made Skittles Vodka.

Separated the Skittles, then Infused the Vodka. Taste the Rainbow..

Separated the Skittles, then Infused the Vodka. Taste the Rainbow..

It was easy, and it turned out delicious. Next time, I think I will either make a fifth of each colour or try some other candy. Somewhere I read Smarties work…

The long and short of it is, that’s what I’ve been up to, and I hope I wasn’t missed was missed. I like being liked.

On Music

benfoldsWhile the blog can be viewed as “the new resume” — another way for employers to get a look at who you are and how/if you fit into the culture of the work environment — can it also relate to an aspect of dating? Could would-be suitors find your writing pedantic and thus write (sorry, intended) you off as a prospective mate? With the prevalence of this so-called “social networking” and such news items as the scandals related to sixteen year olds finding older men on MySpace, it seems that online dating and its variants have become a social norm; one of the numerous acceptable modern versions of courtship.

How many people do you know that’ve had online relationships? Or kept up a long distance relationship via their Facebook and/or e-mail? Considering the amount of personal information we make publicly available through the various avenues of the InterHighway, is it a stretch to believe that a potential companion can write you off because you mentioned that you liked the movie Labyrinth? I don’t think so.

As I was thinking about the blog as the new resume and the social network profile as the dating equivalent of a resume, I combined the two ideas; what if a girl reading my blog decided that she liked me (or didn’t!) from what I wrote? Sure, she could go to my Facebook profile and read about the movies I like, music I listen to, and what I do in my free time. However, the profile only shows a piece, a vague overview. Kind of like how a resume only briefly covers your “accomplishments” without actually going over your specific role in any given project (or like a GPA shows how well you did, but not what you did well in and why).

The above, as it turns out, was just a long-winded seguing into something that popped into my head last week, so please bear with me.

One could potentially cheat, having never met me, look at my Facebook profile and see my “favourite bands” et cetera, and never really question it. But then all the fun of our first meeting is gone. Furthermore, what then would be the icebreakers on a hypothetical first date? All the basics have been discovered on Facebook. Here, again, I will reference my perceived similarities of dating to job hunting; the first date is like the post-resume (Facebook Profile) interview. Here, two people take the general information they have on each other and expound upon it.  Amongst music nerds, the conversation would probably revolve around your favourite albums and artists. But they wouldn’t just list them off to each other. One might attempt to explain why their favourites have achieved that status; to show a little bit about them as a person and what affects the decisions made in music choices (and from that, perhaps, one could make assumptions and inferences about their life outlook).

In that vein, I set about trying to determine my five favourite songs. Perhaps of all time, but at the very least, those which currently hold relevance. How did I define this? First of all, I thought they would probably have to be songs I’ve listened to many times and I still can listen to without being bored through repeated listenings. This did not yield a list of five. So I set about to do it systematically and came up with the following diagram.

As an aside, Christi called my need for charts and graphs “anal” but “endearing.” I find them helpful; from budgeting to deciding what netbook to purchase, I love lists, charts and graphs. I abhor math, but I like the visual representation of things in decision-making. Otherwise, I sit and ponder for hours and hours, stressing and never concluding.

chartFor the record, most comments henceforth will relate to this image and whatever’s going through my head. Very stream-of-consciousness.

Jets to Brazil, The Hold Steady, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (I still can’t get over swing and they do it so well), Belle and Sebastian and Damien Rice are clearly at the forefront of favourites in the artist category. Aside from holding the highest number of top songs (it was too hard to weed them out!), they are the bands that I can constantly listen to without becoming sick of.

Jets to Brazil were my favourite emo band back in high school (my high school self is yelling at me to clarify: they aren’t technically “emo,” they’re “post-emo indie rock,” but I digress). To this day, their first two albums are amazing, able to be listened to straight through with nary a missed beat. Top notch in their genre and definitely something I will continue to enjoy for years to come.

Christi burned me several mix cds featuring The Hold Steady. I listened to these, not really getting it at first. Craig Finn’s style definitely took some getting used to. To be honest, I don’t even remember when I decided I liked it, but I did. I unscrupulously obtained all their albums and then realized that I enjoyed them so much that I had to own the real thing. That’s how I can gauge my liking of an artist – when I like the album so much that I cannot bear to have just a burned or downloaded copy. I now own all their albums and listen to at least one straight through every week.

I break one of my own rules with Damien Rice. Though I love to own real cds, last summer I bought 9 via iTunes’ Music Store and only own the digital copy. Often times, I forget I own the real thing and that I really did spend money on it, but there it is, registered in my name. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing Damien Rice is. I saw him live with only a vague knowledge of his music and it was probably in my top 2 concerts ever (it doesn’t hurt that I’ve only been to 5 or 6 in my life though…) The man’s a genius. And he’s Irish to boot. Can’t pick a more winning combination.

Another band that’s been with me since high school: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. At some point during the big ska phase in my life, I dabbled into a little swing. I don’t know if it was the movie Swingers or something else, but these guys still ROCK. The swing lover in me just can’t get enough of them, and I dare you to listen to them without at least tapping your foot. It’s wonderful. Sure, they’re often “simple songs, about simple things,” but they are catchy, upbeat and incredible danceable.

Finally, we come to those twee Brits, Belle and Sebastian. Not so much two people as much as, like, 8, but a great, poppy band that has everything I like in music: British accents, guitars, harmonic melodies, catchy tunes, and the occasional horn and steel drum section. Mister J.Lauck gave me much of their catalogue and I’m in the process of purchasing The Life Pursuit and Dear Catastrophe Waitress. And by the way, I remember the exact place and situation in which I was in when I heard my two favourite songs off those respective albums.

My top five albums based on being able to listen to them straight through, not skipping a track (not in any particular order):

Regarding Damien Rice’s O: 9 cannot be disregarded as a wonderful, wonderful album either. It is freaking brilliant. Still, it’s a little harder (i.e. less mellow) and can’t be played in front of your mother. Also, I often skip a few of the tracks, making it slightly less of a perfect album to me next to O.

As far as top five songs go, it is REALLY a tough choice. If there was the dreaded hypothetical (what if you could only listen to five songs ever again) then I don’t know how my choice would reflect this. This really came from months of intensive research… Ok, so I looked through my top played list, then my top rated list, cross-referenced them, loaded my favourites onto my iPhone (bearing in mind an 8 GB capacity, I had to be picky) then chose my tops from there. By no means was it even slightly scientific, and looking at them, I can’t even say that these really are my top five favourite songs. At any rate, I will try to justify this is a similarly introspective way. (Feel free to click to another website, maybe one about kittens, at this point. I am doing this for me and me alone. Cheers)

I didn’t like Belle and Sebastian until I heard Sukie in the Graveyard but I listened to If She Wants Me on repeat one car ride down to Lansing and still love it. Plus I just think B&S are great.

Fired is the best Ben Folds song ever and I am proud to say, I am the only one who knows this. Honestly, I’ve never met another person who holds this opinion. He’s never (as far as I know) played it at a show and the only YouTube videos I can find are of people covering it (ok, so maybe people do like it…). Still, I love the tempo and the style and wish he played more songs like this.

As far as the Ben Folds Five go, I had never heard the Theme from Dr. Pyser until he opened with it in Alma; I was blown away. It was the perfect high-energy song to open an awesome evening. After that, I purchased the extended of Forever and Ever Amen just to get that song. It’s even set as my alarm tone in the morning every few weeks; that’s how much I love it.

I’m finding a lot of these songs (and artists and albums even) are favourites because of where/when I first heard them. What’s Left of the Flag was one of the first Flogging Molly songs I heard, over the PA system in Best Buy. I bought the album then and there and have bought every album of theirs since. I don’t remember when I liked A Praise Chorus first, but I know it was one of the first songs I really loved off this Jimmy Eat World album. Coming from loving Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity sound, this song and album took some getting used to, but I’ll be damned if “crimson and clover/over and over” doesn’t get me every time.

This was a long-winded introspective, aimed at self-discovery. If I am to understand myself, surely my favourite music will help that. Well, it seems that all I’ve discovered is that I am eclectic and indecisive. I also discovered that, though charts are great, they do not work in every situation. huh.

So, now some questions remain:

Does not having a favourite band make me less of a person? Can I ever be happy with one job/life/routine if I can’t settle on something as unimportant as a band? Or is music so important to my life that I cannot limit my choices stylistically? Does the fact that a list did not solve my problem make me die inside? Am I still me?

These are questions I really don’t want to ponder. I just want to continue listening to music and writing meandering blogs to kill time. And so it is.

It looks like I’ve still got a lot of work cut out for me. My indecisiveness underscores my lack of female companionship; there’s not even anything on the horizon. Similar to the job market for me. Someone once said that good things happen all at once. That being said, I should probably go introspective a bit longer, focus on self-awareness before I can achieve self-fulfillment – in any area. After I’ve gotten that far, the ladies already know what I’m into.

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.

the Origin of Dapper

It all began with wanting to have an untied bow hanging from my tuxedo.

No, I’m sorry, that’s getting ahead of myself.

It began when I realized that thrift stores were good for more things than cool vintage t’shirts. My style today is very different from high school me. Very. Anyone still knowing me who had known me then (there are still a few), can attest to this. Still, pictures are worth more than words, so here:

"emo nick" or "little nicky tiny pants" depending on who you asked

"emo nick" or "little nicky tiny pants" depending on who you asked

To understand why I dress as I currently do, I figure I might as well do an entire history, at least as far back as I (a) can remember and (b) was picking out and largely purchasing my own clothes.

I middle school, I dressed. I blended in and had a couple of friends. That’s all. Nothing fancy, maybe one or two shirts that I really liked. Only one person called me out on wearing those two almost exclusively, alternating days. They were polo shirts that fit me well. I had always been given hand me downs and shirts that were far too large for me, so these well-fitting polos made me feel cool. I wore ties only to church and often with short sleeved dress shirts. Sometimes, I could be caught in a pair of black pants, a navy double-breasted blazer, a white short-sleeved dress shirt with a button down collar and the jacket unbuttoned. Atrocity. Pure atrocity.

Hanging out with a boy named Mark (who was several grades ahead of me and had his own car) got me more into punk and hardcore music. I began to dress the part more, mixed a little with what was cool (in my mind): JNCOs and Airwalks. To keep things simple, I kept my head shaved. As I got a little older and more daring, I started dying my hair regularly. I’d grow it out and bleach it. Cut it short and have bleached tips. Grow it out and bleach it then dye it red. Blue. Black. It was my thing. I also painted my nails black. Slowly, my t-shirts got smaller as did my pants.

No, I wasn’t getting fat. I was buying clothes that fit. Ish. They were often small, kind of like scene kids do today buying girl’s jeans.I don’t remember why or how, but I got more into emo. Maybe after I broke up with my first girlfriend. As I liked the emo scene I began to dress more as I saw they did. There weren’t a ton of “emo kids” at my high school at this point so I did my online research:

  • bought some Sleepytime Trio and Rites of Spring CDs
  • got a pair of fake glasses from Gadzooks
  • covered my book bag with patches and buttons (flair, as per the movie Office Space)
  • wore low-top, black Converse All-Stars
  • dark jeans with the cuffs rolled up
  • tiny band t-shirts and ironic children’s shirts from thrift stores
  • read zines
  • died my hair black
  • Et cetera

At some point during this transition, I found out about (or at least began to rock) pins and patches for my bookbag. It evolved slowly and I still own it today. I think my hero was Kelly. I didn’t know her personally, but she was a year older than me and had the coolest bookbag I’d ever scene (haha, play on words). She was and probably still is the most punk rock person I know.

One day, walking through the hall, she stopped me and bowed to me, like one used to bow to princes or kings. She told me that the was so impressed with how awesome my bookbag was. She was my bookbag idol and she told me how awesome mine looked! SWEET! We became good friends and ended up going to homecoming together (see photo).

This whole time, my style remained similar. When I joined the theatre department in 2002, I maintained the black hair and bookbag, the small shirts and jeans. However, by senior year, I had toned down on the hair changes. Those theatre kids, ironically, mellowed out my inner punk. (I say ironically because theatre kids are insane)

With the theatre department came a plethora of new friends. One in particular, Mary, was the theatre goddesss of sorts. She was a huge flirt and tons of the guys thought she was God’s gift to Men. We hung out quite a bit. She introduced me to the finer points of thrift store shopping, and it was with her that I purchased my black pinstripe suit. Having this in hand, I realized that I should probably go to prom again: I had gone the previous year and discovered I had a penchant for Tuxedos with Tails. However, this suit was purchased at a fraction of the cost of renting a tux. I knew I’d look like a baller, so I secured a date and attended.

Two proms led me to realize that dressing up was kind of fun. Though I was discouraged from wearing suits regularly, I found special occasions to wear them. Choir concerts, theatre productions, fancy dinners out, homecoming the year after I graduated. I discovered the amazing power of thrift shopping and EBay and amassed a superb collection of outfits. With Mary at my side, I became a clothes shop-a-holic. She was basically my personal assistant, getting me cargos, cords, sweaters and dress shirts.

She hated ties though. Suits too. So I had a great “dressy-casual” look. Thant changed when I picked up the Queer Eye book at B&N and subsequently watched the show with her regularly. I began to think for myself. Then, once I’d graduated and we hung out less, I broke free of her opinions and wore what I want.

The bow ties began with the desire to wear a tux but stand out. I was regularly reading The Style Forum and Ask Andy at work at SVSU and learning a ton. They made me go in another direction entirely, buying clothes I never would have desired and throwing out (donating) a lot of stuff that I never knew was wrong. I followed them to the letter and thus knew if I ever wanted to wear a tux again, I must learn to tie a bow. I can’t remember with any certainty when they became more regular, but I feel like people have always associated me with them. I only owned a few at first, mostly buying them in bulk from Ebay estate sales. However, wear something as eccentric as a bow tie more than once, and people will begin to expect it. In fact, I could wear one one day of the week and get asked the other six about the lack thereof. I guess you reap what you sow…

As a final thought, at long last I was able to find at least one of the old (2005) posts I used to explain my reasoning for my style. Let’s see how it’s held up through the years:

…reason for me to wear suits. Oh, I haven’t made that list here yet? Great! Now if you ever hear me spout this off, you can politely zone out!

1. They offer little exposed body making mosquitos[sic] look elsewhere for sustinance.[sic]

2. I’m never underdressed[sic]

3. They add mass and make me look bigger disguising the fact that I am, simply put, scrawny.

4. (not sure if this is true but someone once criticized me for this so I’ll put it) False sense of superiority. That leads more or less into 5:

5. I know I look decent, so I have one less thing to fret about. ie. I can focus on grammar, posture, breath, etiquiette[sic], without worrying if I look presentable. When dressing “up” is second-nature or commonplace, you carry yourself with more self confidence and are not uncomfortable in nice clothes.

Definite downside: What the hell does one wear to dress up? I have kind of solved that by purchasing a tuxedo and morning suit. Unfortunately, the morning suit is all but completely outdated in the US (Prince Charles and co wore them to HRH’s wedding however, and looked incredibly dapper to boot) and mine needs alterations. I’m lazy though, and cheap. My tuxedo too, has things to be dseired[sic]. Like being proper. After I bought it, I became anal-retentive about styling details, but, since it hardly sees the light of day (haha- it is meant as evening wear!) I am not concerned. It is mostly for fun now. Again, though, dressing up for a wedding bings[sic] these two pieces to mind but I would not want to be dressed similarly or better than the wedding party (think prom tuxes…YUCK!). My tux is not classic by any means but it also doesn’t have 17 buttons. But, I digress.

So, it is obvious this was written both quickly, and before the prevalence of built in spell checkers. A shame to be sure. However, many points still hold up. I am not longer scrawny nor do I have a false sense of superiority; anyone who talks to me for more than five minutes will know that. I do, however, not worry about how I look. I never have to worry about not looking good in photos (except I do tend to make too many funny faces), and I am most certainly rarely underdressed. I certainly feel I’ve reached a happy medium today. Found my personal style, if you will. It’s been a long time coming, but I am comfortable and recognizable. And really, what more can one ask for?

What follows are the photos I was able to find without actually scanning any prints. It is by no means all inclusive and I am certain some are out of order and some dates are incorrect. Still, it serves as a nice overview of (some of) the many styles I’ve maintained through the years (2000-2005 roughly). Cheers.

On fries

So no Stephen Fry am I. Obviously. What took him half an hour to read aloud would take me god knows how long to read let alone write myself. 5,000 words. My God. And now I seek to tackle Reading a 9,500 word article by the same. I’ll let you know how I fare. As for me, 500-1000 seems sufficient. I am not quite prolific enough. Clearly.

The damned insurance companies hounding me. They want employees more than anyone else. Why is that? Putting a résumé on Monster.com apparently means you want to sell insurance. I’ve gotten numerous bulk e-mails, several fairly personal e-mails and one legitimate PHONE CALL. Recruiting me as an insurance salesman.

Am I that desperate yet? I don’t think so. Don’t you also have to take some kind of class and pay for a license or something, too? To top it off, “it’s not a paycheck…you own your own business! Who doesn’t want to do that?!” Um, me! If I wanted to be my own business owner, I’d do something I enjoy. Not recruiting others to buy Quixtar (read: Amway) products. Not helping people to recruit people to recruit people to recruit people to …..somewhere down the line I think we’re supposed to help people get out of debt. As far as I see, the only way we’re getting them out of debt is getting them money by making them recruit more people to supposedly do the same thing. Where is the income? The cash flow? Oh, the sign-up fees. Of course! I love new-age pyramid schemes.

Sorry, got a little off topic. Actually, there was not really a topic to begin with. I just needed to rant on the internet. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to comment on a YouTube video.

Just kidding.




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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