Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Daddy on the Edge of Fashion
Okay, qualifiers; men don't wear tights anymore. Unless you're a ballet dancer, or a circus performer...or you work at the Renaissance Fair...or you're the next contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race.
The thing is, men used to wear tights. From "Ezine"; "The origin of tights can be traced back to the Renaissance age. The wearing of tights became a fashion among the men, during the period of King Henry VIII of England. The men wore them to display their well-toned legs. These tight-fitting garments were originally developed as a costume for those riding on horseback. During the 16th and 17th centuries, European men popularly wore tights. "
And it didn't stop there. Though the popularity may have died down by the early 20th century, the film and comic book industries bedecked many of the typical boy's childhood heroes in tights. Knights of the Round Table, swashbucklers of the seas, Robin Hood and pretty much every superhero ever inked into a graphic novel sported a set of tights.
But did they wear these leggings with just any footwear? Robin Hood in clogs? Lancelot in sandals? Batman in Nike's? How about the boys from KISS? (I know, not movie stars or comic book legends, but childhood heroes to me nonetheless. Yeah, I know...we'll talk about my childhood another day, k?) Is Gene Simmons gonna rock out to "God of Thunder" in penny loafers? Nooooo....the footwear of choice for the man in tights? Boots.
And this is the thing - this is why I even thought about it in the first place. While doing my Christmas shopping, I could not help but notice that boots are back. Boots are soooo back. Everywhere you look, women are wearing skinny jeans and boots, or tights and boots, or leggings and boots...and these are some awesome boots. In my day, the girls I ran with wore a suede style on a lower heel, usually with fringe. This was especially popular in the Rocker Girl/Cannabis Chick set - I'm pretty sure Stevie Nicks and the ladies from Heart all owned pairs like that.
But 21st century footwear designers have gone above and beyond in the customization of the tall shoe, and have pimped their boots with everything from studs to jewels, buckles to beadwork, straps to snaps. They're showing Sheepskin Pugs, funky Uggs, thigh highs and low rise, even Vegan Boots - boots without the leather. I had never heard of such a thing and wondered how they were made. Well, finding the boots to buy are easy - finding out what they're made of takes a little more time, and Daddy was starting to spin some "Soylent Green" scenarios in his head ("They're making the boots...out of PEOPLE!"). Nothing so drastic, however - here's the scoop from "Vegetarian Star";
"Some leather-like boots are made from PVC, which isn’t very kind to the environment, as it contains chlorine, which produces a chemical called dioxin during the manufacturing process that’s been linked to ailments, like asthma. To get around this, the best ethical designers use PU, or Polyurethane, a gentler synthetic. There’s also polyester, which can be used in satin-looking materials."
But whatever the taste in boot, the unfortunate fact remains that this particular style of dress, tight fitting leggings of some sort and the myriad of boots to choose from, is pretty much only available to women. Oh, you can get boots in the men's section - cowboy and steel toe - that's all you need, right? Sure, that might be all I need. Dietarily speaking, in a pinch, all the nutrients I need to survive can be found in my own urine - that's all I need. Sometimes it's more about what you want.
And what I want is to no longer be limited by the seeming majority of men around me. I'm a medium guy in an XXL world and while I feel the pain of the overweight guy, I have a 29 inch waist - and I can't find a belt that fits. When I asked a sales clerk why they didn't have them he said to my face, "Men aren't that skinny" and recommended I try the boys section. Do you remember the belts you used to wear as a boy? Flimsy cardboard things? Well, you can have yourself a walk down memory lane anytime you like because those same crappy belts are in that same boys section. The belt I finally found for myself is a good quality, fairly nondescript black leather "Dockers" belt with equally innocuous silver buckle. It fits me, it was on sale, and I got it in the Misses section. Necessity being the mother of crossing gender boundaries, I'm okay with that.
My point is that tights and boots didn't go out of fashion so much as men could no longer fit the fashion. By and large, the number of men able to "show off their well toned legs" is dwindling. It would be easy, I guess, for the skinnier man to simply acquiesce, and resign himself to a lifetime of boat shoes, sweatpants and polo shirts, a series of loose fitting outfits and team colors, all the while doing his best to blend in to the woodwork as much as possible. Just wear the uniform, dude. The baggy, boring ass uniform.
There's more to life, at least to a guy's fashion life, than that. In a world that has given birth to the term "metrosexual" , surely we can take chances in our everyday wardrobe. We can step outside our comfort zone, try new styles, wear a color other than black, blue or grey, try throwing a hat on our heads that doesn't have a big NY stitched on the front (Hats!! I never even mentioned hats! Why do we not wear fedoras anymore?? Oh well, we'll save that for another entry.) All my life, I've idolized rock stars and superheroes and, while I may not have radioactive spider venom in my veins and I may not be able to jam on a screaming guitar like Eddie or Gene, I know for a fact that I've got the legs to pull off a pair of tights and some boots.
Maybe it's time I became my own superhero.
Or maybe I'll just start with the boots.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Daddy on the Edge of Recovery
but still - I don't know if attack is the right word. I smoked for 32 of my 45 years on the planet. I ate things I shouldn't have, drank things I shouldn't have, and made the creation, care and feeding of stress into an art form. All of this I dropped into my heart's inbox and said, "Here ya go! You're doin' a bang up job here - keep up the good work!" And then I'd merrily run off to another 13 day, 156 hour, 400 cigarette work week, secure in the knowledge that my good ole heart, my bueno corazon, my pulmonary pal was minding the store and would never let me down. Well, that's a whole lot to put on one heart, and even the best of hearts is gonna get just a bit pissed off after awhile, and it's gonna stand up. It's gonna get up in your face and tell you that it doesn't like the way you're running this ship, and you'd better straighten up and fly right sonny boy, or the Cardiac Kid is gonna saddle up and git the hell outta Dodge. Is that an attack? Sounds more like a revolt to me - maybe "Heart Revolution" would be a better way of putting it.
The kids are too young to remember, but you folks that are Daddy's age probably recall the movie, "Network". Whether you know the flick or not, check out the clip below. If my heart could talk, it would sound an awwwful lot like this guy;
Oh yeah, baby - mad as hell, not gonna take anymore, gonna screw with your blood supply right now. My heart was Howard Beale, and it was not happy. And, in retrospect, it's pretty damned obvious why. If I treated an employee the way I treated my ticker, they would have walked out on me years ago. If I treated friends that way, they wouldn't return my calls. If I treated my masseuse that way...well, you know there goes my happy ending.
Okay, full disclosure ('cause my wife reads this) - I don't have a masseuse. But I do want my happy ending. Many, many, many years from now, I want to look back on my mostly happy life and remember, almost fondly, the day my heart fought back. Between now and then, for sure there's going to be hard times, there's always gonna be pressure...but you find your release...and you don't blow...and you live to fight another day.
Saw this earlier and decided to make this blog a video tri fecta;
We've all gotta deal with Pressure...let's try to do it gracefully and have some fun along the way.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Daddy on the Edge of the Woods
This entry is about Tiger Woods. The following is all I have to say about Mr. Woods and whatever he's currently going through in his personal life:
Tea Baggers (tee hee) shout out, "Keep the government out of my health care!" (And even funnier, "Keep the government out of my Medicare!" which is like saying, "keep gays out of theater!" Sure; if all I want to see is "Up with People" and "I'm not Rappaport". Government created medicare, just as, it can be argued, gays created Broadway. Any way you look at it, removing them would be damaging - hence, the humor of the protest cry..but I digress WAY too much)
Pro-choice advocates cry out, "Keep your laws off my body!" The military policy on gays in their ranks? "Don't ask, don't tell". It seems the vast majority of Americans prefer the phrases, "Mind your own business" and "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" to the phrase, "I know what you did last summer".
Why, oh why then, do we throw all that aside when we catch a fleeting glimpse of a celebrities dirty laundry on the line? "What I do in my bedroom is my business!", but when it's Tiger Woods that we're talking about, it's Larry King's business, and Katie Couric's business, it's Ernie Anastos' and Al Roker's, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity's...hell, anyone with a microphone and a network...now, it's their business. And they are in the business of making Tiger's business...our business. Are we really such gossips? Do we really need the rush of watching the mighty fall to make us feel better about our own lives? People say the Tiger should publicly apologize. Um....for what? Did Tiger do something to the public at large that I am unaware of? Did he somehow violate me without my knowledge (which wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened to me, but not with him. At least...I don't think so....)? No; Tiger's crime is that he failed to live up to people's overblown, unrealistic expectations of him. He turned out to have (Gasp!) flaws. Well, I'm sorry folks, but I don't want anyone to apologize to me for being human.
Charles Barclay is famous for saying, "I am Not a role model" and he's right. "Role model" used to mean someone we could pattern our performance after - if we wanted the results they were getting, we would do what they do in that area of study and hopefully, excel accordingly. Somewhere along the way though, that got a little bit warped and we encompassed the entire person, with all his unavoidable foibles, into the "Role Model" equation. So now, if we want to perform like a certain athlete, in addition to working out like them, practicing like them, and studying like them, we might then decide to eat like them, use supplements like them, do drugs like them, sleep around like them, drink like them, get the same tattoos, wear the same clothes, drive the same car - til the term role model is no longer adequate, and should instead be replaced with the more appropriate term, "Original Copy". Modelling performance is one thing - trying to clone oneself into someone else's shoes is a recipe for eventual unhappiness. The Mighty do Fall; they fall back down to our level where, in some ways, they never really left at all.
Everyone, at some point in their lives, falls down. I guess the question is, do we point, jeer and laugh at them as they tumble, or do we attempt to afford them some decorum, and perhaps try to pretend that we didn't notice their stumble, or at least that it wasn't as embarrassing as they thought it was. And, if the opportunity presents itself, we can try to help them back up.
For now, I'm gonna make like I didn't notice.
Hope it helps,
PS: While writing this, I used the term, "Mind your own business" which always reminds me of the similar expression, "Mind your own beeswax". I've often wondered where that expression comes from, and if anyone knows, I'd appreciate the 411.
Someone who is great about discovering the origins of American idioms is a gal named Marina Orlova at Hotforwords.com. I found her on YouTube years ago; a Russian immigrant with a lexicon and a dream, she has parlayed her brains and beauty into a real "Coming to America" success story. Hmmm...you might even call her...a role model. ;)
Check her out - links to the right.
Daddy on the Edge of Party Lines
The gist of it, for those who just can't stomach reading a full article on Joe Joe the Frog Faced Boy, is that he's standing in the way of health care reform. Big frigging surprise. I guess Olympia Snowe made it look like fun. Well, let me ask you this, Lil Joe - if Olympia jumped off a bridge, would you? (My Lord, he looks like he's considering it - someone tell Olympia Snowe that Karl Rove told her to jump off a bridge - we can have a two for one day!)
When did this happen? When did a whiny senators grocery list of demands stand as an impenetrable wall against the nation's progress? Wait; whiny was the wrong word, and I knew this, but could not summon forth the proper word..until now. Petulant. That's the word I was looking for. Joe Lieberman is being a petulant little sissy boy.
Damn...that's just not fair to sissy boys, and I happen to have some dear friends of that persuasion...
Nooo...weasel! That's it -
I know, I know - Daddy has a righteously firm grasp of the obvious. The point is, why do we let someone like that get away with anything at all? Because....wait for it...they might filibuster (egads, no! please, not that! oh Lord, anything but that! We tremble and quake in fear at the thought of your dreadful blustering filibustering!!!)
My goodness; what would we do? We've not seen such a potential filibuster fury since...hmmm...when was it? Oh yes! Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yes, a group of lame brained senators decided to rail against that worthwhile cause as well. From Wiki;
"The bill came before the full Senate for debate on March 30, 1964 and the "Southern Bloc" of southern Senators led by Richard Russell (D-GA) launched a filibuster to prevent its passage. Said Russell: "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.""
Seems like politicians have a devil of a time accepting social equality, doesn't it? Whether you're talking about blacks, or gays (oh, Daddy's gonna talk about that - don't you worry), or just putting everyone on the same social standing health care wise, you've always gotta have some whack-a-moles that are just dead set against it. Weenies.
So, they filibustered. Carried on that nonsense for 54 days. While they were babbling, the bill was being further refined until they came up with a working bill that would get passage (sound familiar?). But credit where credit is due - "Key to the passage of the Civil Rights Act were not just the congressional maneuvers, but also the public pressure, which was fed by a campaign led by Dr. Robert Hayling and Dr. Martin Luther King in St. Augustine, Florida --the "nation's oldest city"--in the Spring and summer of 1964."
Public Pressure. Dr. Hayling and Dr. King weren't waiting to see what their elected leaders had decided as to their fates - instead, they were instrumental in telling their elected leaders what their fates would be. And, in the end, no weasel was going to stand in their way.
The right wing knows how to do this - misguided as they may be, the sheer volume of teabaggers or tea partiers or whatever you want to call them looked pretty impressive on the National Mall on 9/12 of this year. You know what I'd like to see on the National Mall?
A Health Care Clinic.
The National Association of Free Clinics goes around the country to our poorest areas. They set up their tents and supplies in vacant lots or empty fields, and basically provide free health care to as many people as they are humanly able to in the time that they are there. People line up the night before, and as many as 1,200 people might be waiting in line the next morning. Yeah, tell me we don't need health care reform. I've posted their link to the right. Click on them and check them out. Maybe donate. Maybe call and suggest that they help the poor in DC without health care, and that they do it right in front of Congress.
As for you, Lonesome Joe? You wanna filibuster? Go right ahead. I wanna hear you rail on about why Americans shouldn't have decent health care. I wanna hear you snivel through an explanation of how expanding Medicare was a great idea when you were running for VP, but now it's not rockin' your socks like it used to. Keep telling us how expanding medicare will drive up the debt and bankrupt the program, even though your accountants have now come out and said just the opposite. In the meantime, we'll just have to keep fighting, and figuring out how to dodge small, greedy minds like yours and maybe, just maybe, figure out a way to send you packing for good one day. Weasel.
Wishing Lil Joe a speedy retirement,
Monday, December 14, 2009
Daddy on the Edge of Church and State
Now, let us please note the obvious: I am not the first person to bandy that word about when describing a political party. I mean, how could we ever forget -
Yes, that's right; the Republican man-child poet laureate herself called the Dems "Godless" on the cover of her frigging book! So, not to be infantile, but - She started it! Still, I'd like to think that I'm better than Ann Coulter. Or, if not better...well...at least prettier.
Still, was I out of line? Godless - did I go too far? I guess it's all about perspective. In diatribes of the past on Facebook, the democrats and I have been called some pretty heinous things by members of another party, so yeah - I usually feel like I'm entitled to take a swipe every now and again. (Note: This is where the expression, "You can dish it out, but you can't take it" comes from - Republicans will be lethally caustic in their insults, epithets and accusations, but the second you volley back, it is as if you have heartily offended them, mortally wounded them and given their mother a wedgie. They were just kidding, you see - but you got serious, you went too far, and that was not right. You should apologize to the poor, dear Republican and never offend it again. Seriously, I see this happen all the time - try it out at your next dinner party!). The point I was trying to make, y'know - with the whole "Godless" remark, is best summed up by Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew. Check it:
Matthew 25:34-46 (King James Version)
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
So, my thinking is, when you deny a health care option for millions of Americans that can't afford the current system, you are denying Christ. When you deny millions of Americans reasonably priced, life saving medications..when you make them choose between buying medicine or buying food, you are doing that to Christ. We are all God's children; not just the one's that go to your church, not just the ones in your tax bracket, not just the ones in your golf club. Some of us are dirty. Some of us are poor. Some of us are sick, or hungry, or afraid, or lost. Some of us are all of these things. All of us are children of God. And when you forget that, when you place more importance on the money in your pocket than you do on the citizens of this country, when profit is worth more to you than the people you are supposed to represent then yes; I will call you Godless.
If you don't like that description, you can change it. The problem I have with Republicans is not that I don't like their plan - rather, it's that they have no coherent plan at all, save for the plan to block any Obama initiative, come Hell or high water. And therein lies the true issue - we are two parties looking for solutions to two different problems. The Democrats want something as close to Universal Health Care as we can get in this country, and the Republicans want Obama to fail miserably at anything he sets his hand to.
If we could at least be working toward the same goal, that would be refreshing and could actually be productive. Sometimes it's easiest to start with a definite goal and then work backwards, i.e; "Every legal citizen of the United States will have full and complete health care provided to them at a cost they can afford by the end of 2010. There - there's your goal - now, how do you get there? Here's a hint - you don't get there by painting your President as a socialist, or a Nazi, or an anarchist. You don't get there by programs of misinformation (death panels? Was that Rove's idea calling it that? That just sounds so Rove. It smacks of Rove. It's downright...Rovian.)
Working together. Putting the needs of the nation as a whole above the needs of campaign contributors. That's how you do it. It's easy. Sure, it'll feel funny at first - you might get a little woozy or throw up in your mouth a little bit, but that will pass. You can do this. Both Democrats and Republicans can stop acting like parties and act like human beings, if only for a moment, and bring about real change. We are all Children of God, and as such, what we are capable of is extraordinary. Live up to the potential; live up to the words. Let us really, truly be One Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty, and Justice For ALL.
In God We Trust,
PS: In my research for this entry, I came across Matthew 25 Ministries, a non-profit organization doing some amazing work for those less fortunate. I've included a link to the right - check them out, contribute, volunteer if you like. Let's be Part of the Solution. Thanx.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Welcome to the Edge.
Until it melts.
As to the title - "Daddy on the Edge" is not a subtle hint at suicidal tendencies (which would be "Daddy on the Ledge", silly). I think it speaks more to transitions in my life. When you're on the edge, you're at the point where one place/thing/state of being meets another place/thing/state of being. Perhaps it's the point where paradigms shift. Perhaps it's the border between rational and irrational acts. It could even be that thin slice of reality that separates all of our alternate selves...the edge of universes where we made different choices, became different people, discovered different selves.
Or maybe I thought it just sounded pithy.
What might you expect to find here? Yeah...I'm kinda wondering that myself. Random insights? Probably. Inspirational messages? Possibly - if we're lucky. An eclectic potpourri of whatever the hell happens to be on my mind at any given time of the day or night and then gets spewed across the screen before I can think about it enough to stop myself? Oh yeah...there's gonna be plenty of that.
So, welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment by the door so I know you dropped in. :)
Talk to you soon,