If you are like me and plan on doing nothing at all this Sunday, you ought to at least have enough pride to get up early and start right away!
Anything worth doing –even doing nothing –is worth doing well.
Sunday morning vanity conversation leading to disappointment
This morning I was admiring my recent weight loss in the bathroom mirror as my wife and I were getting ready to go out for coffee. After my proud moment of self-satisfaction, I threw on a pair of jeans and wet my hair before combing it and began looking for a shirt.”
My wife walked in the bathroom to explain how our dog Macy was just… showing off to her by proudly holding a spider in her mouth before it dropped out and ran away.
Wanting to change the topic back to my proud weight loss, I pointed to myself and said, “Well, what do you think?”
“What?” Rebecca answered quizzically.
“This.” I responded smugly pointing in a circular motion to my torso area.
“What? You got water on you?”
“No!” I said flustered. “I’ve lost 28 lbs.”
“Oh.” Rebecca responded laughing. “You are acting like Macy showing off having a spider in her mouth.”
“No I’m not.” I said defensively. “I don’t think it’s the same thing at all. First off Macy didn’t lose 28 lbs and, second off, I am not holding anything in my mouth.”
“OK.” Rebecca said laughing to herself.
“Do you have water on you?” I repeated to myself under my breath. “Really?”
“Well, I’m proud of both you and Macy this morning.” Rebecca offered in a consoling voice.
At dinner tonight, No, we weren’t discussing Julie Andrews but were brainstorming for our “Top three” favorite lists in a bunch of different categories.
It’s fun to play along. Here are some of mine.
Comedy Series (Cable) — 1) Ali G , 2) Chapelle Show, 3) Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Drama (Cable) — 1) Sopranos , 2) Six Feet Under (never got the credit it deserved, IMHO , 3 ) Breaking Bad and House of Cards (tie) I know that is cheating by having a “tie.”
TV Series– 1) Columbo 2) Twilight Zone 3) Beverly Hillbillies
Musical Groups — 1) Steely Dan, 2) Traffic, 3) R.E.M./Pearl Jam/RHCP ( 3-way tie). Honorable mention to Black Crows (Totally cheated on this one. I struggle to be succinct.)
Movies — 1) The Twilight Saga (Not really, of course. I joke. But mostly because my favorites don’t seem very congruent. I just like them a lot) Real favorites: 1) Annie Hall, 2) ‘O Lucky Man, 3) About a 10- way tie but am unsure which 10 movies but might include Pulp Fiction, My Dinner with Andre, Little Miss Sunshine, Raging Bull, The “Up” Documentaries, Magnolia, Goodfellas, American Beauty, Casino, and Gandhi. And had an honorable mention category that included Forest Gump and Owning Mahoney. Drugstore Cowboy and American Hustle. (OK. I really, really cheated on that one. But I love movies.)
Classic books: 1) Inferno, Dante. 2) Odyssey, Homer, 3) Huckleberry Finn, Twain. Honorable mention to Candide, Voltaire and Gulliver’s Travels, Swift. (Didn’t cheat very much on that one.)
Modern books: 1) Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell; 2) A New Kind of Mind, Pink 3) World is Flat, Friedman (With not to self to start reading more recent books.)
Honorable Mention: Musings from the Middle I and II. (I mean, c’mon. Whaddaya expect?)
Best kitchen investments: 1) Nespresso 2) Vitamix, 3) Panini Press,
Worst Kitchen investments; 1) Doughnut maker, 2) Fondue, 3) Snow Cone machine.
Exciting new product!
If you have an easily distractible husband who has difficulty keeping up with you and the family when shopping, finally there is the perfect solution!
The “Husband Travel Tether.”
Like the lightweight harnesses and leashes for children but sturdier for a more secure hold.
–Made of a leather to keep dads from breaking away.
–Reduces fear of dads being separated from their families when traveling.
–Patented adjustable buckle to pull closer in crowded areas.
–Credit cards never more than 4 feet away.
–Shoulder straps optional.
Sadly, leaving for home.
Loved Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
We get back home in about 14 1/2 hours.
Which is approximately 375 kilometergramhours –using the metric system. Or something like that. Mostly, I think that calculation just means I’m a thick-headed American.
Guten Tag! Which I hope means “Thank You!” But I think may mean “Hello” and I know, in the states, means something that you should try to avoid in your diet. But it’s the best I can do. And reinforces my thick-headed American status.
Thanks ya’ll!! We had a really great ol’ time. Even though we could tell we got on your nerves sometimes and you thought we were too loud and messy. We get that a lot. So you probably are right about that. Sorry. And thanks for everything!
And glad to see that whole thing with East Berlin and that big wall you knocked down is working out so well. It just made sense. If we have learned anything from our travels it’s that people are about the same everywhere. They just talk different, and like I said before, get irritated by us because we are too loud and messy.
Again, Guten Toten! Or something like that. We sure had a good tine and hope we get to come back!
So glad to be home after our trip abroad.
“Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in after you get your luggage, go through security, clear customs, re-check your luggage domestically, clear security again and make your connecting flight in Jersey.”
–Robert Frost (with my paraphrasing)
We have yet to take a family trip that we could fully afford.
Or one that didn’t leave us more personally enriched.
Travel is like that.
Waiting to merge into the morning traffic…Is when you know that your vacation is officially over.
Sometimes… on a night like tonight, if you’ve ever had the privilege of visiting Amsterdam, you miss not being in Amsterdam and wish you could hop in your car and head back to Amsterdam and arrive there in about 15 minutes, provided traffic isn’t bad.
On other nights, I can’t really say what you feel like.
This is my first night home after visiting Amsterdam. And this is the only feeling I am having and it’s pretty unequivocal and strong. Heck, there may not even be another kind of reaction. Except wishing you’d stayed in Berlin so you don’t miss Amsterdam so much.
The phenomenon of political spouses standing by their scandal-plagued husbands has become such a cliche, it’s even inspired a t.v. show – “The Good Wife.” We’ve seen women forgive men for infidelity, patronizing prostitutes, embezzling funds, or cringe-worthy texts, among other misbehaviors. But recently we’ve seen a whole new twist – not only is Maureen McDonnell (wife of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell) standing by her man in his corruption trial, apparently, she is letting him blame the whole thing on her. According to McDonnell’s defense, they couldn’t have coordinated any quid pro quo because their marriage was so damaged they didn’t communicate, and besides she solicited gifts from the tobacco-supplement-magnate because she had a crush on him, not because they hoped to exchange expensive goodies for political favors.
I don’t know what the real story is, whether this is an elaborate hoax or a messy public airing of a sour relationship, but it sure is gothic enough to inspire a Tammy Wynette-style country ballad.
Many years ago I was visiting my uncle who was a voracious reader and I was perusing his library of classic books. I picked up a collection of works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, cracked the book open near the middle, and began reading.
As I read I became enthralled by the sense that this writer was tapped into something almost divine. I recalled learning that holy books were written by individuals who were inspired by God — that they were in some sense just moving the pen. I wasn’t necessarily thinking Emerson’s writing was inspired by God, but as I read I did feel he had a channel into something beyond himself and his words were an inspiration from this divine source.
This morning I stumbled across Desiderata. I have read it many times and always felt the very same thing about its author. That the words he wrote were in some way delievered to, rather than formulated by, the author, who served primarily as a channel to a source of wisdom beyond his own.
One of the crazy fun ways we spend our time here at Rath & Co. is styling grooms and groomsmen for weddings (sometimes the brides get in on the action too). I recently got pictures from a beautiful wedding I styled for Sarah Jenks and Jonathan Brajtbord, above, back in June. Sarah is a bridal weight loss coach, and Jonathan is a urologist — certainly a case of opposites attract in terms of her eastern and his western approach to health care, but it works. They were ridiculously happy, and not to mention all over each other, at every point in the wardrobe planning process.
Details: The color scheme for the bridal party was grey and pink. We got Jonathan into a winning three-piece suit from Simon Spurr, a white dress shirt from Michael Andrews Bespoke, a pink and grey stripe tie from Billy Reid, and a pair of black Lucchese cowboy boots (the man is a Texan, after all). The groomsmen all wore gray suits, white shirts, and the same Billy Reid tie as Jonathan. The couple wanted some uniformity between the groom and groomsmen, with Jonathan standing out marginally. So we opted for a three-piece suit for him and two-piece suits for the guys. And the ties matched the pink of the bridesmaids dresses. More pictures below.
Congratulations Sarah and Jonathan! You guys rock.
Read more about Sarah and Jonathan’s wedding here.
-Content provided by Rath & Co. Men’s Style Consulting. Read more: http://rathandco.com/2011/11/a-rath-co-wedding-sarah-and-jonathan/#ixzz35xMtTPeZ
Something not to do when in Amsterdam. (Unless you are intro dressing up like a cheesy underworld figure from a bad video game.)
Last year on our big family vacation I mentioned that my wife likes very structured and planned activities and I didn’t. I even said, sarcastically, that sometimes our trips feel less like a vacation and more like a program for continuing education credits.
But after it is all over I usually am glad for all the planning my wife does. Without it, I might just stay in the room and watch TV (if I can find an English speaking TV station). But that is not to say that all of her planned activities are winners. Last night we moved into record territory for worst planned family activity ever.
Rebecca did a wonderful job of finding fun and interesting activities for us during the day but last night she purchased four tickets at 10 Euros a piece to something called an “Ice Bar.” Granted, on the surface, it sounded like a promising activity. It seemed like it would be a tour of some sort of underground ice cave and we would see, we imagined, ice carvings or some creative use of ice that is common in the Netherlands.
Instead we arrived and were told to put on giant blue ponchos and gloves that were provided for each patron and to enter the “Ice Bar.” We did and found ourselves, literally, in a small ice covered alcove that was, well, a bar. With music and alcohol. And about a dozen silly looking people who, like us, had each paid 10 Euro to stand in sub-zero temperatures in a bar for an hour. We got a very good laugh out of it all and made the most of it by staying as long as we could keep laughing. And then calling it quits. About 53 minutes early.
Mornings in Amsterdam
I was never an R.A. (Resident Advisor) in college. They always seemed like overly responsible, non-partying, uncool types who weren’t fun to hamg out with but who I would readily ask for class notes if i missed a class. And despite being slightly amnoying apple polishers they really did have it much more together than other students on the dorm floor.
Mornings in Amsterdam are solemn and sobering. The sun is coming up but the sky is overcast and there is a heaviness in the air like a bad hangover. As you walk the morning streets you smell coffee and baked goods and try to dodge places on the street spattered with vomit from last night’s excesses. It is peaceful and pleasant but the kind of peaceful and pleasant you feel if you live next to a fraternity house and it is Saturday morning and everyone in the fraternity is still asleep or achy and quiet.
And for the first time in your life you feel like at R.A. And you realize that R.A.’s on Saturday mornings probably surveyed their dorm floor and were reminded why they were willing to give up to be an R.A. type and were proud of their decision. And this morning, walking the streets of Amsterdam stone cold sober and sitting at a cafe drinking my coffee, which sits next to a Heineken beer bottle someone left from the night before, I feel proud to be an R.A.
At various times today, my son and I discussed Burkean Conservatism, immigration policy, polling trends for the national Democratic and Republican parties and different dipping sauces that went well with french fries.
Here we are discussing the pros and cons of mayonnaise, ketchup, chipotle, and truffle dipping sauce, and the need for a spicier option for the American demographic.
Being in Amsterdam makes you ponder all sorts of philosophical and personal questions that have never occurred to you before.
Questions like, If you got a sex change and decided it wasn’t a good choice and then decided to get another sex change to reverse the previous sex change would others see you the way they had in the past (before the first sex change) or would both sexes look at you with suspicion about your current choice of gender —and at the very least consider you a person prone to being indecisive? And if all of this happened in Amsterdam, where marijuana is legal and pervasively used, would anyone even notice?
There is nothing noble about how Phillip Seymour Hoffman died. Nothing courageous; nothing thoughtful; nothing exemplifying caring for those who relied on him. And there was plenty to suggest deep pain, deceit, secrecy, …and recklessness—all flowing effortlessly from a piercing drug addiction.
Professionally, Hoffman left an extraordinary legacy of achievement. But in his personal life, his legacy to his children was cut brutally and inexplicably short. Yet his will, leaving direction but limited resources to his three children showed, in my opinion, that he loved his children devotedly and cared deeply and thoughtfully about their well-being.
And proved again that love is better measured in time and thoughtfulness than dollars and cents.
One can hope, ironically, that this legacy Phillip Seymour Hoffman left to his children in death, may help in some important way to protect the children he loved from meeting the same tragic end that Hoffman himself did.
The life of a comedian is rarely a funny matter.
The deep source of humor for the professional comic almost always seems to be a survival mechanism that just happens to work better than all the other survival mechanisms tried before it that came up wanting.
Sometimes that defense mechanism —that life antidote— stops working, too. And there may be no back-up fortification for when a joke doesn’t work anymore. And that deep source of humor can cruelly transform itself into an all-encompassing darkness that envelops and even suffocates, figuratively or literally, the same person it served so well.
And for a brief moment, like today upon the news of Robin Williams’ apparent suicide, the world gets a glimpse of that over-sized and heavy heart and sees that you weren’t just a silly boy looking for the next pratfall and a few more well-earned laughs. But that you were working always on something far more complicated, serious and sorrowful than your comedy repertoire ever belied.
How ironic that the man who brought more laughs and lightness to the world over the past four decades —more than probably any single person on our planet—today leaves that same world so deeply saddened and distressed. Then again, the genius of so many great comics is that the flip side of their humor –pain and emptiness–is never too far away from their punch lines. And probably much closer than the audience realizes.
As prodigiously hilarious and zany as he always seemed to be, I believe Robin Williams was, first and last, a very serious and sensitive man. Who we never got to know all that well. But will certainly miss terribly.