Category Archives: Fashion

One more reason I’m glad I’m a guy

Men reasonsI ran across this poster, and it reminded me of one more reason, #87, why I’m glad I’m a guy.

Sales “Parties”

If you are a girl, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you are a guy, I strongly suspect you have never even been close to one. I guess they started with Tupperware back in the 50s or 60s, but it seems in recent years they have multiplied. Here is the way it works.

1.) Woman takes on a job selling a product with other women as the target customer group.

2.) Saleswoman approaches friend or co-worker and asks if she would hostess a “party” and invite some of HER friends. The purpose of the party is to provide Saleswoman with a captive audience to hock her wares. Not really wanting to produce a party, but not wanting to disappoint a friend, the Hostess agrees.

3.) Hostess then spends some of her “social capital” inviting her friends to a “party” at her house. Hostess typically provides drinks and snacks, or more.

4.) The friends/guests frequently accept, even though they have no desire to attend the pseudo-party, because they, in turn, don’t want to their friend/hostess to look bad. The implied understanding is that the Guests have a social obligation to purchase something from the Saleswoman.

Mrs. Poolman attended one such “party” last week. In this case, the product was handbags. Mrs. P came away $55 poorer, but with a handbag, to be delivered at some future date. I don’t know whether she needed the handbag or not. That wasn’t the point. She bought the bag because she attended the party, and she only attended the party, because she didn’t want to disappoint her friend, Carla. Carla wasn’t the hostess. The party was being hosted by her daughter’s partner’s mother and sisters on behalf of some cousin. Do you see how the web grows?

One of our friends here in the neighborhood, Louanne, was a real sucker for any “Saleswoman” who called on her. For a while there, it seemed like Louanne was calling every couple of weeks or so to invite Mrs. P to a party where she could/should/would buy lingerie, perfume, jewelry or candles. (The thought of giving up a Saturday afternoon during football season to go listen to someone try to sell me scented candles would drive me to socially unacceptable behavior.) At least one party she hosted was for a line of “marital aids” which was interesting. I would have gone to that one myself, but no guys were invited. Louanne finally shut down her run of parties after the other women in the neighborhood politely told her that were considering not answering the phone when her number showed up on caller ID.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Perhaps I should call up my friend Matt the Welder and ask him to come over to learn more about scented candles. “Oh, and be sure to bring your checkbook.” I think I seen an intervention in my future.

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Great tee shirt!

Most tee shirt humor is pretty bad, but I laughed out loud at this one I saw today. Tee ShirtMy runner up for funniest tee-shirts I saw a couple of years ago on a somewhat chubby young woman.

“Fat girls are more difficult to kidnap!”

Ahhh. I guess so.

Look at me! I’m a walking billboard!

For most of my adult career, I worked in the television business, so ultimately my salary was paid by advertising revenue. Since I understand the value of advertising, I don’t understand why so many people are willing to just give it away for free. You can’t walk down the street without seeing companies like American Eagle, Nike, Aeropostale, receiving massive amounts of free exposure on the chests, heads and butts of people everywhere.

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine about golf/polo shirts. I mentioned that I usually bought mine at a small chain clothing store. Their store-brand shirts are relatively inexpensive; well made; stood up well to repeated washings; and their knit collars didn’t do that crease-thing that many others do. He commented that he usually paid so much for his shirts, “…but I am willing to pay a little more for a designer brand with their logo in it.”

That’s what I don’t understand. I’d pay a little more to NOT have a logo on the shirt.

With another friend, I commented on the “Columbia” printed across the front of the cap he was wearing. I questioned it, because I knew he had gone to a New York university, but not Columbia.

“Oh, no. That’s not Columbia University. That’s the name of the company who made the hat.”

Duh. Silly me.

Actually, rather than worrying about the trend, I really should just admire the companies involved. They have not only convinced the American public they should provide free advertising for them, they have also convinced them to pay a premium price to do so. Nice scam. Wish I had thought of it.

French burkas, racial profiling and the Tebow-Super Bowl flap

Listening to the news on the radio while I drive to work is a great source of inspiration for blog material.

As a sign I saw in a gift shop recently said, “Everyone is entitled to my own opinion.”

They are fighting over burkas in France these days. Those are the robes for Muslim women that cover their entire body including their face. France is considering banning them in public buildings, citing subjugation of women and security as the reasons. Naturally, those on the other sides are yelling about freedom of religion and France’s national identity. It’s interesting how Muslim leaders will cry for religious freedom when they are in the minority. However, try to wear a tee-shirt with “What would Jesus do?” written on it and see how far you get in the streets of Saudi Arabia or Iran. I suspect the mullahs would be singing another tune.

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A bill is scheduled to be introduced into the Georgia General Assembly today that would outlaw racial profiling. I am ambivalent about this issue.

On one hand, I don’t think someone should be arrested or harassed because of the color of their skin. ie: driving while black, etc.

On the other hand, crime is a serious issue in Savannah. Even out in our little suburban enclave, it is something to be concerned with. And at least here in Savannah, the vast, overwhelming majority of street crimes (assault, robbery, burglary, etc.) are committed by African Americans, primarily young, male African Americans. A story in yesterday’s local newspaper described arrest activity from the weekend and showed the mugs of the 12 people arrested. Ten of the twelve were black men. Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. This brings me back to the initial question:  Do I want to take away from the police one tool that might help them keep myself, my home and my family safe?  I don’t know.

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Our favorite-son quarterback, Tim Tebow, is taking hits this week, and not just at the Senior Bowl practice in Mobile. He and his mom are going to appear in a anti-abortion Super Bowl commercial paid for by the Christian advocacy group “Focus on the Family.” Supposedly, the ad will have Tim and his mom talking about her experience when pregnant with Tim. As the story goes, she had a difficult pregnancy and was advised to terminate the pregnancy for her health. She refused to do so, and the end result is Tim, a remarkable young man by any standard.

I am not a big fan of Focus on the Family, for what little I know about them. Nor have I seen the TV spot, but then again, neither had anyone else.

Nonetheless, the Women’s Media Center, with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups, are throwing the penalty flags in Tim’s and CBS’s direction.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring American’s together,” said Jemhu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center.

“…an event designed to bring American’s together”??? I thought it was an event designed to determine the champion of the National Football League, provide an excuse for some Sunday afternoon parties and to make a lot of money for a bunch of people. I never knew it was supposed to be some kind of national unity event. Silly me.

I wonder if Ms. Greene has ever been to a viewing party or a football game where there were decent percentages of fans of both team? (Super Bowl, Florida-Georgia, Texas-Oklahoma, a BCS championship game, etc.)  I suspect she has not. If she had ever actually been to one of those games, she would know that unity is not a concept that comes to mind.

I don’t believe the women’s advocacy group really have much to complain about except that the Tebows’ message will probably be something they will disagree with.

The funniest shot comes from SI.com’s Greg Doyel.

“If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year,” he wrote. “It’s not a day to discuss abortion. For it, against it, I don’t care what you are. On Super Sunday, I don’t care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion.”

The irony is just pure honey. According to Doyel, Super Bowl Sun“Thou shalt keep holy the Lord’s…” day is too holy to be despoiled by any talk of morals, ethics, or, God forbid, religion. No further comment is necessary.

For myself, it just gives me something to look forward to watching the game.

A wedding weekend

We are back at home after a long weekend of wedding festivities. Sorry the gap in postings. I really didn’t have the time.

The subjects of the wedding were my niece (Mrs. Poolman’s younger sister’s daughter) and her betrothed. Mrs. Poolman headed out to Jacksonville early Thursday morning and I followed after work that evening. We were co-hosting the rehearsal dinner at the home of Mrs. Poolman’s other sister, at her very nice home in the Sawgrass gated community in Ponte Vedra Beach. Also, I was the “official” wedding photographer. The whole thing kept us very busy.

I went to the rehearsal Friday afternoon to check out the venue. I have been to the church many times, as it was Mrs. Poolman’s parents’ church. We were married there ourselves. However, I wanted to check out the location from a photography standpoint, and also to get the guidelines (dos and don’ts) for shooting the ceremony.

One thing that did strike me is the way that accepted attire has changed. I wore a suit to my rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. At most other wedding rehearsals and dinners I have attended, most of the male members of the wedding party  wore nice pants and shirt, maybe even a jacket . At this rehearsal, the guys mostly looked like they were dressed for yard work.  Oh well. I guess I am a “stick-in-the mud” fuddy duddy.

Groomsmen dress

I reserved three rooms at a Candlewood Suites hotel for our family gang. I had not stayed in a Candlewood before, and I have to say we were very pleased. The chain is part of the Holiday Inn family so I used some of my points for two of the rooms. Apparently this family of hotels is primarily an extended stay facility. It lacked some of the services common to a regular hotel. No restaurant. No pool. No daily maid service. However, the rooms were very large and were equipped with a mini-kitchen. There was even a big, leather recliner. Candlewood 1

Candlewood 2They also included free high-speed internet. (Why is it I can get free internet at a low priced hotel, but have to pay a $15 premium at someplace like the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, where we paid $189/night?) The best part is the weekend rate for the room I put on my credit card was $42/night. Including all the various taxes, I checked out for two nights at less than $100. Can’t beat that.

Saturday was the wedding and the reception. All went well, although I worked my tail off. Between the rehearsal festivities and the main event, I took more than 900 shots. By the end of the evening, I was dead tired, at least from the waist down, and my feet were killing me.

There was one pretty funny story on the rehearsal day. The groom had not heard from one of his groomsmen, so he called him Friday morning. Apparently the conversation went something like this.

Groom — “Hey man. We need to go and pick up the tuxedos.”

Groomsman — “What do you mean?”

Groom — You know. Pick up the tuxedos for my wedding.”

Groomsman — “Why, the wedding isn’t until next week.”

Groom — “No dude. It is tomorrow and the rehearsal is this afternoon!”

Groomsman — “Oh s___!”

The problem? The groomsman lives in New Orleans, more than 500 miles away. Gotta give the guy credit, he did a super fast packing job and got in his car. He made it in time for the rehearsal dinner. I’m thinking the state patrols in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were not real attentive.

We drove back to town on Sunday, and I spent Labor Day laboring – doing all the usual weekend outdoor chores I wasn’t able to do while I was off celebrating eternal love.   Tomorrow is a furlough day. (State of Georgia’s efforts to cut the budget.) Everyone at our place is taking it well. I think everyone thinks it is much better to take a few days off without pay, then be laid off and see a whole lot of days without pay.

Dress for success?

For most of my adult life I worked in television stations. I was either on the air or in a management role. In either case, the “uniform of the day” was a dress shirt and tie with a jacket available as needed.  It was the same when I moved into university PR, except during the summers and when students were on break, we could adjust down to “business casual.” Then I came to work at my current post at a marine research laboratory. What a change.

I almost always dress in the “business casual” manner, usually an open collar shirt and/or sweater in the winter, casual Docker-style long pants and deck shoes (with socks!). I will wear shorts only if there is a work-related reason, like going out on one of the boats or stomping through the boonies, etc. Otherwise, I am frequently the best dressed person on campus. Occasionally when I have some off-campus activity that requires it, I’ll wear a suit and I get all kinds of weird looks and comments here. Tee-shirts, jeans, shorts, and sneakers are much more the norm, especially among the science staff.

The well dressed scientist -- "summer edition"

The well dressed scientist -- "summer edition"

For some reason, I still cannot bring myself to wear jeans or shorts to work or church.

I remember a day last summer when we had one of our occasional road trash pick up activities. For obvious reasons, I wore shorts that day. It happened it was a Friday and my cousin and family had arrived for a weekend visit. His first reaction when he saw men was, “That’s not what you usually wear to work? IS IT?”

Sometimes it gets to be amusing. About a year ago, we got a call that a high ranking state senator was visiting town and wanted to come and visit us on about 30 minutes notice. I walked down the hall to tell my boss. He looked at what he was wearing, golf shirt, khaki cargo-style shorts and deck shoes minus socks, and said, “Oh heck. I don’t even have time to run home and change. I guess he’ll just have to take me the way I am.” Later, when I met the senator outside in the parking lot, he got out of his car dressed exactly the same as my boss, right down to the color of his golf shirt. We all got a laugh out of it.

The issue of dress came up today because the chancellor (#1 guy) of the university system is visiting us tomorrow. I sent out an email to the staff asking that they pay a little attention to their appearance tomorrow. We don’t need “Sunday best,” but it would be nice if they saved the ratty tee-shirts for another day. It probably hacked some people off, but that’s life.

Thanks for the mammaries!

Recently, a fellow blogger, “Hey, there Pammy-Girl!” commented that she didn’t appreciate men talking to her breasts before they looked at her face. I understand this completely. I have a wife and an adult daughter, and I wouldn’t appreciate them being objectified that way. However, as a middle aged guy, I am also a bit confused by the mixed messages I get out there in the world.

(Note: I’ve never met Pammy Girl, so I have no idea how she dresses, and none of these comments should be misinterpreted as to pertain to her. She just brought up the subject.)Cleav 3

While women like Pammy Girl have an absolutely valid point and have every reason to take offense, it seems like many, many women out there are taking an exactly opposite approach and are doing everything possible to attract men to look at their chests.

I know this is nothing new. I haven’t been completely asleep all my life. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it seems that over the past couple of years the amount of décolletage that previously had been appropriate only for formal evenings or pick-up bars is showing up everywhere you look. Push-up bras and low scoop necks are common in the office and the grocery store.Cleav Tat (That doesn’t even count tee-shirts with “These are real!” on them or strategically placed tattoos that cry out, “HEY, LOOK HERE!”)

A week or so ago, a college student stopped by my work to pick up some information. She was wearing a loose, scoop neck sweater-thing. When she bent over to put something in her purse, everything from her neck to her navel was there for the world to see.

Mrs. Poolman says, “Well, you shouldn’t be looking!” You don’t have to look. It jumps right out and hits you in the face.

Please understand. I’m not complaining. I’m a big fan of female breasts. I’m just confused.

On a related subject, I was stumped for the proper protocol when a friend of ours had a breast enhancement (aka boob-job). She is roughly our age and has always been rather slender without much up-top. So, I did what I always do when perplexed with questions of social interaction; I asked Mrs. Poolman, “What is the proper breastiquette for this kind of situation?”

Clearly, our friend had the surgery so people would notice her breasts. If she died her hair, lost a noticeable amount of weight or got a tattoo on her forehead, she would expect some comment and would be disappointed if no one took notice. But what about the “tatas?” Should I compliment her on the surgeon’s work? That might be taken as inappropriate, but on the other hand, would she be offended if no one even noticed?

Mrs. Poolman cleared up my confusion quickly.

“If you dare say anything to ### about her boob job, I’ll kill you in your sleep, and I know where you sleep!”

No more confusion.