Browsing all posts in clothing.

Apr 23rd
Thursday

My father’s dresser stood roughly 5′ high and was made of a dark striped mahogany.
The handles were brushed bronze and made an interesting ‘clink’ after drawer was opened.
The most interesting thing was an item sitting on top of it;
a cast iron piggy bank that weighed about 3 lbs. with a lock on the underside of the belly.
But the strangest thing was that it was painted blue which made no sense to me whatsoever.
Pigs were not blue.
There was a small felt-lined box that held his wristwatch, rings, spare change, assorted cufflinks and an old broken lighter that I assumed had been my cigar smoking grandfathers.
There was a picture of me and my sister Maureen and an old black and white TV kitty-cornered leaning against the wall.
All of this sat on an ivory colored doily of sorts.
Actually the laced doily may have originally been white but discolored with age,
I could never be quite sure.
Dad was an orderly man, maybe even a bit anal retentive when it came to his dresser.
The drawers in order: sox, underwear and t-shirts, cheeno’s and jeans, polos and sweatshirts and in the bottom draw there was an odd assortment of archaic and godforsaken film reels (8mm) that he would never see, pocket watches, old broken wristwatches, pencils, pens, gag gifts from various milestone birthdays, an empty bottle of holy water and a grass stained baseball or two.
Upon opening any drawer of the dresser the thing I remember most vividly was the obvious scent of the man.
Though I find it hard to describe, imagine fresh warm linen with a hint of a melancholy and long forgotten rainy day.
That was my Dad.
One thing that’s baffled me all these years was his wearing of boxer shorts.
Images of him standing in front of the bathroom mirror shaving wearing nothing but boxers, a white t-shirt and stretch black socks are seared in my mind forever.
I distinctly remember the day I cleaned out his dresser for the last time.
With the exception of his boxers and t-shirts, every drawer held a different memory of him.
In his bottom drawer I found a metal ‘bank’ box that contained old bank passbooks, faded photos of people I didn’t know and various documents he had been saving.
Underneath the pile I found a tie tack I’d made him when I was about 8 years old.
It was brushed silver and had a semi-polished jasper stone set in the middle.
I made it at the same time I’d made my mother’s ‘precious stone’ earrings (each earring weighed about 8oz)
Finding the tie clip wasn’t so much of an emotional thing for me.
He didn’t leave it there for me to find.
He just never threw things like that away.
Ever.
It was one more thing for me to learn about a man I would soon be losing.
The piggy bank is resting comfortably in my cellar right now in a box with all his stuff.
To this day I’m still wondering why the hell it was painted blue.
Maybe someday I’ll still be able to ask him . . .

Sep 15th
Monday

All of us have moments in our lives that we repress; traumatic and emotional pitfalls, odd and complicated times – things we just can’t look squarely in the eye.
Occasionally, these moments are dragged out into the light for all to examine and mentally fondle.
This past August we went to stay with my sister and her family for a few days at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire.
It was here that one of these hairy little creatures of truth was revealed.
And no one was more surprised than ‘yours truly’.

One beautiful moonlit summer night, me, Pamela, my sister Maureen and my brother-in-law sat on their back deck sipping ice-cold margaritas while taking in the comfortable night.
With the conversation flowing nicely, and my cigar smoking beautifully
my sister said, “Do you remember in first grade when Mom dressed you up as a woman?”

I looked behind me wondering who the hell she was talking to.
My mother would never do something as hideously damaging as that to my then dormant masculinity.
I figured my sister was talking about a brother I never knew I had.
What else could possibly explain it?
I had no recollection of it whatsoever.
Holy crap, I wonder why.

She was staring at me, smiling.

“Me?” I said.

“Yeah, don’t you remember?” She asked.

“Get the hell outta here, Mom would never dress me up as a woman,” I said, scoffing at the mere thought.

“Well, she did. In First Grade. It was a costume contest.”

Pamela and my brother-in-law were laughing their proverbial asses off at the
hairy little critter my sister had just so casually released.

“Come on, ” I said, “You’re kidding, right?”

“Nope. And you won first place! You had on make-up and lipstick and you wore a dress.
I think she even gave you some boobs, too!”

Well, that explains . . . ah, nevermind.

So, I guess I made a very convincing woman when I was in the first grade.
This should eat up a few years of therapy.
Thanks, Mumsy.
And thanks to my sister for dropping that runny egg on my head. (you messed up my hair!)
Time to go change these damn panty hose, too.
Damn runs.
They just don’t make them like they used to when I was a little girl.
Wonder if she had me wear a pair of her stiletto heels, too . . .
Repressed memories?
Yeah, that’s one way to put it.
Somebody, please shoot me.
Just watch out for the pearls . . .

Oct 31st
Wednesday

Evyl and I have decided to offer our services to all the gentlemen types currently surfing the web looking for something interesting to read, watch or do.
We’ve started something of a manblog to be sure but it has so much more to offer than that.
At Evyl and Smoke there will be no syrupy sweet posts, no sentimentality and a no holds barred policy; a very different place than here at Smoke and Mirrors.
Oh, and absolutely ‘no bullshit’.
This is a place where I can let my hair down
(funny, so to speak, even though we’re two guys with cueball noggins)
Women, cigars, sports, beer, booze, good eats, guy gripes and chili recipes will rule the roost.
Both of us aren’t quite sure where this thing will go but it’s been a blast so far and we’ve decided to finally go public with it.
We’ll leave it up to you as far as linking to us.
We are, first and foremost, gentlemen. ;)
BTW- We decided on an anonymous system in terms of posting and commenting thinking it might offer a bit of devious fun because you’ll never really know who is who.
I’m honored beyond belief to team up with the likes of Evyl.
He pulls no punches yet you always know where you stand.
For now, I’ll just welcome you to our new abode: Evyl and Smoke
Stop by and at least say hi.
And yes, it’s most definitely a guy thing.
And that’s alright by me . . .

~m

Aug 23rd
Thursday

How come you so big?

You scare my wife and keetons

Bobby try diet . . .

Sarah informed us that Bob would be returning for a few days.
His stay will be mercifully brief because he’s outta here on Sunday morning when we bring her back to school. {excuse me, college}
Bob is currently residing in the hallway upstairs.
I found that out last night (1:34am) when I was needlessly mugged by a dark-hooded Hollister sweatshirt on my way to the bathroom.

My only thought today was where in God’s name did the summer go?

I’ve already noticed a few brave trees offering up their chlorophyll, preparation for a special place on the ever popular New England Autumnal Palette.
The hands of time are moving too damn fast for me these days.
I just said ‘hello’ to summer and now I’m sadly saying ‘goodbye’.

And I hate that.

I really, really do.

Relinquishing my sacred seat on the porch has never been easy.
I used to love the fall but even that has changed for me; probably because the autumnal equinox is the natural pre-cursor to the personal arctic abomination I now refer to as “freekin’ winter”.

The past few days have kicked my ass but the computer is once again up and running and the ‘blue screen of death’ is but mere memory. Ahh . . . .
And thank my lucky stars because I can already hear Bob calling me for more space.

I promise to catch up on my “comment absence” by early next week.

keep the faith,

~m

PS. Happy Birthday, LiHo!!!!!!

Aug 19th
Sunday

On days that I open the store I’m on the train at 6AM and visiting the land of Nod by 6:15.
Early morning trains are relatively quiet and sleeping is an acquired and needed task I’ve grown quite used to utilizing.
It must be my internal clock but my eyes automatically open right after the train leaves the Yawkey stop (Fenway Park) and I’m still barely awake by the time we get to my stop at Back Bay which is only three minutes away.

The other morning I got up from my seat with all the zeal of an 85 year old man and made my way to the stairs leading to the nearest exit.
I saw a woman standing by the door waiting to get off when my heart stopped.
Though I could only see the left side of her face she looked just like my mother.
I know my mother is no longer here but I found it interesting, maybe even semi- sweet,
that the mere sight of another human being resembling her can still make my heart miss a beat.
This woman’s hair, her eyes, nose and the shape of her mouth; even her clothes all screamed my mother’s name.

She must have known I was staring because she suddenly looked up at me, almost through me, smiled and left the train.

Sleepwalking my way to work, I passed on my usual cup of coffee from Au Bon Pain.
I guess I was still a bit dazed from the surprise encounter I’d just had and decided to continue sleepwalking through the surreal fog,
my scattered memories trailing close behind me.

~m

Aug 1st
Wednesday

I received a care package the other day compliments of my dear friend Maureen from Australia. What began as a comment or two regarding the mystery and intrigue surrounding the Aussie staple, “Vegemite” turned into a package of many wonderfully Australian things.

It’s quite difficult for one to describe vegemite. Maureen says it looks like axle grease and I have to say she’s right. But the taste, ahh, the taste is unforgettable.
Malt, yeast and salt dominate this black paste and for some odd reason it reminds me of beer.
Then again, many things remind me of beer.

I was forewarned: don’t use very much.
God, I’m glad I read that little nugget of information.
Honestly, I think I could grow to like this stuff. Aside from using it as a spread on crackers or toast what the hell else can you use it for?

 

 

 

I’ll report back on how well the axle grease works out.

I was also sent an authentic boomerang. From the looks of it, if I had to feed my family using this thing as a hunting weapon, they all would have perished weeks ago.
I am, however, quite good at throwing it in such a way that it comes back and hits me.

Maybe I deserve it.

I also now own (and wear) a very cool red baseball cap from a golf course called
The Willows (courtesy of Mark, Moe’s better half.. Thanks, Mark!)
And I love the Australian flag on the back of the cap.

But the most unusual gift I received was a pouch.
This isn’t your average everyday pouch—this one is special.
It’s made out of genuine kangaroo scrotum (is there any other kind?)
Maureen says that downunder they use the entire Joey.
I guess she’s not kidding.
We’ve joked about what to put in it (my nuts?).
Those disappeared the minute I saw the actual lettering on the bag.
(genuine kangaroo scrotum)

I have a little something for Moe and Mark that left today.
I think we will soon have a budding Red Sox fan in Australia . . . I hope.

I’m sure you noticed the {huge} picture at the top of the post of yours truly sporting my new baseball cap.
I spent a beautiful sunny day in Boston with a beautiful woman, had a wonderful lunch at the Rattlesnake on Boylston Street and wandered breathlessly through the Hopper Exhibit at the MFA.
I’m not even going to try and describe all that I saw because I’d fail miserably.
I really would.

I will tell you a few things though; “Nighthawks” is a massive piece of art and much larger than I originally thought it would be.
I stared at it for 15 minutes taking in the detailed brush strokes of one of my favorite artists.
I kept thinking ‘His hand actually did this’ . . . I was gobsmacked being that close to a work of art so creative.
And though I’m no painter, Hopper has an uncanny ability to re-create light on canvas.
I’ve no idea how he came to possess this talent but this picture gave me the chills.
Online it looks fairly blasé but standing in front of it makes one want to kneel.
I’m not kidding.
It was an all around wonderful day and I feel so blessed.
If a Hopper Exhibit comes anywhere near you, please do yourself a favor and go.

Thanks, Moe for the package.
Look for the mailman late next week.

And yes, I want pictures . . . :0)

 

~m

Jul 30th
Monday

About “No Reservations” . . .

I’ve read some bad film reviews in my life but nothing can top what folks are saying about this rotten turd of celluloid.
Just had to share this.

“No Reservations” has garnered comments such as this from
Shawn Edwards of Fox TV:

“The most delightful film of the year!”

and from Bonnie Laufer of Tribute TV

“Irresistible and charming. The PERFECT DATE movie.”

and from Gene Shalit
(Does anyone really believe this mustachioed whackjob anyway?)

“A Pleasure”
(thank, Gene. Now take care of the caterpillars mating on your forehead)

I want to set the record straight with a few choice comments from a weekly paper here in Boston. You can click HERE to get to the WeeklyDig but right now the site is suspiciously under construction. [BRB]
I’ve read reviews here before and have to say they’re usually outrageous and downright true.
And no, I haven’t seen the movie, but damn, this was funny . . .
Here are a few choice comments from David Wildman of the Dig:

“Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart go through the motions of pretending to be real humans with actual feelings, all the while displaying the depth and emotional resonance of the underwear models in a Sears circular.”

Nice.

“Watching this film is the cinematic equivalent of taking that dreadful feeling you have just before you know you’re going to barf and prolonging it for 90 minutes.”

You know that feeling?

Wildman goes on and on but I think you get the point; do yourself a favor and take No Reservations off your menu immediately before someone else gets sick.
Just wanted to save you a few bucks.
Hey, there’s always NetFlix, right?

~m

Jul 27th
Friday

Cool or really Uncool?
Would you guys order one of these?
Just curious; the jury is out.
Actually, the girl is kind of a babe and the guy is just, well, kind of gay.
Now if it had my URL on it . . .

~m

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