Monday, November 30, 2015

Give Me a Minute ...

Imagine me, you know, with my hand raised in that "Time Out" gesture, head hanging, hand on chest as I try to catch a breath.

I've got some really complicated posts in the works, pretty deep and good ones, if you ask me. But they're long, and becoming really hard to write. (I've been hacking at one since last spring!) I keep going back to them when I can.

Frankly, it's just so hard to have a minute's peace these days, or at least a minute when I don't instantly fall asleep, or just sit there, staring blankly at the screen, my brain bludgeoned into inertia.

So give me a minute here. I on it ...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hey You Kids, Get Outta' My Jeans!

I am notorious among coworkers and friends (especially among coworkers) for wearing clothes I have had a long time ... like, 30 years. And it's true. I "retired" a pair of Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoes that I bought shortly after graduation from college (in 1982) just the other week, because the soles had worn through. And then I wore them again that weekend, because they just seemed to go perfectly in the outfit I had on.*

Part of that outfit was a pair of Levi's 505s that have washed out to be nearly white, and the knees are pretty much blown out, which would embarrass me except all the casual fashion wear stuff I keep seeing on the internet shows people wearing jeans with artfully torn up knees. So I figure I'm right in style.

However, it is indeed time for some new jeans, and here's where I switch from fashion-aware older guy to crotchety old man. First of all: When did these things become so freakin' expensive?! I know jeans have become fashion clothing, acceptable at the highest, most dressy of circumstances, but I wasn't looking to buy some styled, tailored, posh pair of hand-washed-by-Burmese-orphans designer jeans. I just wanted a pair of "regular fit" (and that whole trend from "relaxed fit" -- talk about your transparent euphemism -- to the potentially atrocious "skinny fit." How about just jeans. They came in that same boxy shape for 100 years. Buy the tailored-by-rare-Capuchin-apes, fancy, designer things if you want some sort of "fit," but that's a side-rant ...) 505s, a longstanding, standard Levi's product. They list for well over $50 a pair. These are jeans, the pants I wear when I'm afraid things might get messy, the pants that entered our culture for miners and stayed there as work pants. I bought the pair with the now blown-out knees for around $20, if I recall correctly. And this is hardly the worst it can be: Levi's advertises a special "1967" model of 505 for ... $278!

Which brings me to the main trigger of this old guy tirade: What happened to my damn jeans? After some hunting and strategic waiting, I finally did get myself a pair of 505s from Macy's online when they went on sale for a mere $38. I put in that effort because the pair I had gotten from Old Navy (usually a satisfying source of cheap, decent clothes) didn't fit me quite right (maybe I should have tried the "skinny fit," but the idea made my nerves jangle) and -- the worst problem -- was made of surprisingly thin denim, more the weight of the light cotton/synthetic blend I expect from khaki pants. So I figured I had to pony up the money for the quality I wanted and return to my preferred Levi's.

"Levis 501 rear detail" by Blake Burkhart - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons 

But when my Levi's arrived: exactly the same weight and texture to the fabric. Not really "jeans" in my mind at all. How just not right, especially when one has memories of only being able to buy jeans when they were stiff and a dark indigo blue, requiring an extended breaking-in process.

Ah, well, I guess I'll just have to make due. Now if I can just get them to fit right ...