Sunday, September 28, 2008

The "perfect" Fair Isle sweater

For about two years, I have been on the lookout for the "perfect" Fair Isle sweater. I'm not sure where I got the mental image for this sweater, but I could picture it in my mind's eye and it was the yard stick by which all potential Fair Isles were measured against. I would scour Ebay, would check the seasonal selections from standards like LL Bean, Lands End, Brooks Brothers, and J. Crew, but I could never find one that met my standards. However, last week I poking around Ebay and stumbled across this beauty. It is an old LL Bean sweater, wool, knit in Scotland, and in my size. The colors are nicely muted and the patterns are neither too small nor too large. I went ahead and jumped on it and managed to scoop it up for the kingly sum of $10. I received it in the mail just three days after winning the auction (I was very impressed by that), and it is fantastic. It fits a touch larger than I would want it to, but I'm hoping that can be solved by a trip through the washer and dryer. Anyways, my quest is over, and now I am just waiting for the temperatures to drop low enough to wear it.

The "third item"

Frankly, I would say that I am a pretty boring dresser. Most days, I usually wear khakis or jeans (khaki shorts in the warmer months) and an oxford cloth buttondown (OCBD) shirt. I have OCBDs in several different colors, and also have sport shirts in madras for the warmer months and some shirts different checks and plaids for the cooler months. However, the general equation is usually just pants+shirt=dressed.

Once the weather cools down, though, I am able to bring some more variety to my daily dress by incorportating, what I refer to as, the "third item." This is usually a sweater, a sport coat, a jacket (like a Barbour), or even a tie, but I feel like it is the essential item to completing an outfit (I do hesitate to use the word "outfit" since that is usually a word that women use, thouh I feel like I am using it in a slightly different context). This "third item" can completely change the outfit by becoming the focal point, making the pants and shirts to perform their roles as supporting players. When I am able to wear this third item, that is when I really feel like I am "dressed."

The fact is, though, that it is simply too hot to incorporate this "third item" pretty much from June through most of Septemeber. Of course one can wear a tie or blazer during these warmer months, but for the most part, it is simply not the preferable choice. Now that the temperatures are dropping, I am looking forward to making the most of my wardrobe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fantasy Football: Week 3

In case anyone was wondering (which is doubtful), this week was another loss on the Fantasy Football front. The game was against my Fantasy arch-nemesis, and in spite of anemic numbers for both of us, he managed to best me, 85-79. On the upside, I had Ronnie Brown score 46 points. On the downside, he was on the bench and was of no benefit to me. Having only scored a total of 13 points in the first two weeks, there was a reason I had him on the bench, but this was definitely one of those "hindsight is 20/20" decisions. Oh well. The season is young.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Great Cocktails" on Hulu

I was browsing the other night looking for something to watch and came across the show "Great Cocktails." This show apparently comes on the Fine Living Network, which is a great channel if, like the rest of us, you're trying to figure out how much house you can buy for $12.5 million. This "Great Cocktails" show was pretty good, though. Each 20+ minute episode presents stories about several different types of drinks, and offers up recipes, anecdotes and advice. I found it pretty informational and entertaining and would recommend it if you've got some time to kill on the computer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Introducing: the belt koozie

Few things are more annoying than having to carry your drink while you are walking around, especially if you are at a tailgate or out shooting. Your hand gets cold, your beer gets warm, and you have to carry your arm at an annoying 90 degree angle. Fortunately, the Texas Hunt Co. can supply you with their "All-Terrain Beverage Holster for Belt", or belt koozie as I prefer.

In all seriousness, I think this thing is awesome. My boss this summer came back from a dove shoot in Argentina with one similar to this, and to say that I was green with envy would be an understatement. I stumbled across this one the other day and was ecstatic that I could now possess one without having to go all the way down to Argentina. I think that people perhaps underestimate the importance of a proper koozie, and I admit that I was ignorant of it until I met some girls from Auburn who usually had at least two koozies in their purses, and a few in the car. But that is another post.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I came across the SocialPrimer blog through someone else's blog, though I can't remember whose. However, I have thoroughly been enjoying it. It is a well written and entertaining collection of brief essays on etiquette and style. One might even think of it as the Emily Post of the blogosphere. I have enjoyed reading it so far, and look forward to many future posts.

For the grammar nazis out there...

Today I accidentally stumbled across the website Common Errors in English. It is awesome. Tired of people saying "run the gambit" instead of "run the gamut," or mixing up "taken aback" with "taken back"? As someone who is constantly amazed at the poor state of grammar in the US, I assure you that this is the website for you. There is enough on there for even the biggest stickler to learn something.

A disappointing update

This is sort of an update to my second to last blog post found here. According to this article, the "honorable" Larry P. Langford is moving forward with his Olympics pipe dream by selecting a Birmingham Olympic Committee. Perhaps what I personally find even more awful is that the Associate Athletic Director from Samford, Jay Roberson, is involved in this nonsense. I am seriously considering writing him a letter to express my disappointment in his associating my alma mater with such bullshit.

The highlight (or should I say lowlight?) of the article is the last paragraph:
“After watching the government hand $85 billion to AIG last night, we need to go to the federal government for $3.2 billion to pay off the sewer debt and another couple of billion for the Olympics,” Langford said.

Yeah, Larry, that's it. The government is just handing out money willy-nilly now and I'm sure they'd love to give some money to Birmingham to fix the problems with the sewer that you had serious involvement in causing. Dumbass.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fantasy football domination

I reconsidered the post I made last night and decided that it might not be the most gentlemanly. Instead, I would simply like to point out that I am now 1-1 in Fantasy Football, and I've not got a pretty good feeling about my team.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"A wonderful tribute to a man who is inspiring 10's of people"

Larry Langford, mayor of Birmingham, is a dumb-ass. Frankly, that is putting it lightly, but I suppose I will refrain from using worse language on the blog. Fortunately, the New York Times has realized this and recently published an article entitled "Mayor Pushes Skeptical Birmingham to Dream on an Olympic Scale." I think that the first two paragraphs do a good job of summing up this point:

"BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In his first year as Birmingham’s mayor, Larry P. Langford has proposed a $500 million domed stadium, a $125 million law enforcement complex and a $33 million trolley car network.

But those ideas were dwarfed by Mr. Langford’s proclamation this month: He wants the Olympics."

This whole article really made me frustrated to read. I worry about going back to Birmingham after I finish up grad school and having to deal with the consequences of his time on County Council and as mayor. The only hope is that he doesn't get reelected next term. Perhaps if the people who voted for him last time would read the following sentence, they might realize just how stupid he is: “There’s all this talk about inflation, recession. I choose not to participate. I just don’t have this defeatist attitude.”

Sperry Billfish: A Footwear Identity Crisis

While I am glad to see that boat shoes are currently making a comeback, I find it unfortunate that about 90% of boat shoe-wearing students, both guys and girls, at Clemson have chosen the Sperry Billfish. Is it a boat shoe? Is it a sneaker? Why has everyone in South Carolina chosen this pair? Who knows? What is clear is that it doesn't hold a candle to the Sperry Authentic Original in terms of style.

Recent Netflix rentals

Although I have noted my love of Netflix at least once or twice on this blog, a couple of months ago my queue started getting pretty thin as I had seen most of the movies that I had originally intended to rent (that happens when you don't have cable). So, I started looking at some lists on Netflix and started adding movies, that, for one reason or another, I had never gotten around to seeing. I pretty much considered these the "bottom of the barrel" choices and figured I would just wade through those movies until some new DVDs came out. I must say, however, that the past five rentals I have gotten on Netflix have been fantastic. For your reading pleasure, I will give my thoughts on them below:

American Gangster- I never saw this movie when it first came out due to a bad review from a classmate who, in fact, walked out of the movie because he thought it was so bad. Over time, I began to only hear good things about this movie so I decided to check it out for myself. This really was a great gangster/cop movie, maybe not quite in the same league as the Godfather or The Departed, but definitely well done. My only issue was with the ending; I won't give away what it was, but the last 15 minutes really just didn't seem to match the feeling of the rest of the film.

As Good as it Gets- Although I suppose this movie is technically a romantic comedy, I thought it was really a good movie in general. I thought that the characters were really interesting and complex. I would also like to add that I had been intrigued by this movie ever since hearing Chris Thile's song "Locking Doors" at a Nickel Creek concert probably five years ago. During the concert Chris gave background on the song and said that it was written about Jack Nicholson's character in the movie Melvin.

V for Vendetta- I think I originally avoided this movie when it first came out because reviews seemed to indicate that it was basically a George Bush-bashing movie, and while I have generally become quite disillusioned with Bush, movies and music that bash him are something that I generally try to avoid. However, after watching this movie, I must say that I thought that the political theme of the movie ("People shouldn't fear their government; the government should fear its people") was pretty good, and that as an action movie goes, it was pretty entertaining. It also stars Natalie Portman, and it is hard not to like her.

The Blair Witch Project- I remember being really intrigued and excited about this movie when it first came out, but never saw it for some reason. Over the years, it came to be spoofed so many times that I assumed that it really wasn't that good of a movie. I was quite wrong. This movie really was scary, and the fact that I actually thought it was scary makes me really respect it. I think it is a perfect example of the fact that the scariest movies are the ones where you never see what it is that's "out there."

Crash- I never saw this movie because, when it came out during college, I remember so many people talking about how incredible it was and how it "changed their lives." Being as cynical as I am, I generally try to avoid "life changing" stuff like the plague. However, I decided to finally break down and rent it. While I wouldn't say that it changed my life, it certainly was thought-provoking and entertaining. Maybe that's just because I'm a sucker for movies with one-word titles where they have multiple-divergent plots that all eventually prove to be interrelated (i.e.- Traffic, Babel).

Next up on the list is Munich, and I am anticipating good things.

*Warning: None of these movies are guaranteed to change your life

Hampden Clothing

This post is intended for the ladies in South Carolina. The wife of the guy I worked with this summer, Stacy Smallwood, runs a store in downtown Charleston called Hampden Clothing. Stacy used to be a buyer for Neiman Marcus and this has allowed her to have a boutique that get items from designers that pretty much can't be found outside of New York and L.A. They have a store on King Street and are working on opening a store in Greenville, hopefully by the end of the year. If you enjoy high-end, cutting-edge fashion (and have the deep pockets to afford it), it is definitely worth a look. Their website can be found here (you can order online) and their (rarely updated) blog can be found here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Worlds collide

To those who read my blog on a regular or semi-regular basis, I do apologize for the lack of new posts lately. Have been busy getting back into the swing of school. Hopefully I will be able to start posting more regularly.

However, I will share this article with you: Drunk Woman Mistakes Authentic Preppy for Ironic Preppy (hat tip to Tucker for finding this). As some of my friends know, I do have a thing for hipster women, and although I have never actually gone out with one, I imagine that that article is actually a pretty close account of how things might go (although I not go to school at Choate).