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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Impromptu Reunion with Old Friends in Newport Weekend

Great time on recent impromptu Newport Reunion weekend! The liver is starting to dry out a little.

Started Happy Hour Friday @ Noon at the Red Parrot...didn't stop till ? Catching up with LD and seeing his mom...(doing great at 75) Dinner at LF's...went through the Yearbook and down memory lane (memory lapse/memmmry...what?) Even did a couple of shots...haven't in years!
Sat: Drove around and saw the old places, Happy Hour(s) at the outdoor bar at Clark Cooke, took in the comedy show with Lisa Lampanelli thanks to BB- inappropriate but hilarious - both -

On to Cappy's; a little drinking and a lot of Fooseball...wait, reverse that...Common sense reared it rarely seen head, and I skipped going out for breakfast...then up early and back to VA on Sun....

Great time...hope some of the folks make it down South soon & I get to head back again as well!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Christmas Card Photo Time

Once again, it's time to schedule the annual Christmas Card photo shoot, and one again my wife and I will have the annual debate -- Whole Family or Just Kids. 

Background Fact 1) My wife doesn't like to have her picture taken, and neither did her mother.  They were always the ones holding the camera, and as a result, there are very few pictures of either of them in the candids, and photo albums; only when professionally taken.

Fact 2) We have had the tradition from engagement on, that each year, we have always included all of us - adults, and kids (once we had them) 14 Years running.

 Fact 3)  Have you ever gotten a card and it only has the kids on it, and you don't recognize who they are?  Each year we get nice comments on how the family looks, how the kids have grown, etc...Folks like to see the people they know, not just kids of people they know...

So what do you think?  Keep the tradation? Or Kids Only?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Through their eyes ...the First Days of Fall

Objects of Envy



In defense of the Accidental Virginia College Guy- distinguished from the much maligned Southern Frat Boy

Heading out to college football this weekend, tailgating, encountered the Virginia College Guy(species: "pueri erunt").  Below I have distinguished these future gentlemen from the much- maligned Sloppy Southern Frat Boy:

  • Button downs, polos, long sleeves, pressed.
  • Drink Bourbon (the National drink of men who went to college in Virginia - excluding Mason, Mary Washington, Georgetown, American, GW or any DC).
  • Will pick Country music more often than Pop or Rap (admittedly including Friends in Low Places and David Allen Coe).
  • Boxers often seen @ or below hem of Shorts, worn year round.
  • Somewhere between refined and Sloppy Preppy -- just enough of a hint at being dressed (see UVA and W&L style) to differentiate from the Abercrombie crowd who wears Flip Flops all year round. 
  • Not the NY effeminate preppy "style" (see photo right, and run for your life).
  • Car is a hand-me-down from parents (nice but aging - old Lexus SC, 325i, etc) or Toyota SUV; not a the Jersey Broncos, or Explorers,  or the NC/SC/GA pick-up trucks.
  • Good beer, and slight beer-gut emerging.
  • Rolex is the only jewelery, HS ring is at parents' main house in Lexington; will add the college ring, and then wedding ring.  No earrings, no shells, no dog tags as seen on the imitators. 
  • Many are the truly accidental preppies whose families own the bank, car dealership, insurance agency in their Western town in VA,
  • Though there are imitators, the authentic ones are confident, not belligerent, and are leaders.
  • Use ma'am and sir.
  • Goes to church with his girlfriend (& her family when visiting), but not above doing morally questionable acts in pursuit of campus girls.
  • Yes, there is corn hole and beer pong.
I actually like these guys, they usually grow up, get married and become people we know. "Sunt pueri pueri, pueri puerilia tractant"

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Diverse Group of Friends

Random shots a friend posted-- This was the house at the beach my parents owned and "rented" to me during college, & I sublet rooms to friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who needed a place to flop... (Yes, my real estate magnate days started early).

We always had parties going on, and -- like me -
always attracted a very diverse groups of friends - punks, nerds, college kids, beach kids, restaurant crowd ...

First Photo: Me with my back to the camera.  The guy in dark blue was one of the many roommates who was briefly there - a friend of my brother Joe -- Don't remember his name -- I do remember this kid smoked so much, one night we had to take him to the emergency room because he had smoked a hole in his lung, or something equally unpleasant !

2nd Pic: The guy with the pornstache in the middle's name was XXX...he was a "career waiter/bartender" at some of the restaurants at the beach in college, and a generally fun guy, definitely the older kid at college who has graduated but still hangs around with a failure to launch.  I half expect to go out  one night, and there he'll be, and he'll still be able to make it a fun evening.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Accidental Preppies

 Ritz Carleton MoBay Jamaica...Igby Goes Down..

Off to Cotillion at PACC... age 12...

Am I surpised when we pull up to a lodge-style hotel, my daughter at age 4 asks, "Where's the Doorman?"

Or when driving past a mall she asks, "What's Sears?",  my wife explains it's a department store, and my daughter says, "Oh, like Nordstrom..."

Though they don't know it yet, their fates are cast...

Since I wear no jewelry other than a weddding band...I can justify...

  1. Baume - gold with leather strap, sometime between 1844 (Founding of Baume) & 1912 (Merged with Mercier) - bought in London antique store.
  2. Elgin pocket watch - 1894 inscribed inside, gold plated over "hard composition metal" case - bought at auction.
  3. Hamilton steel Art Deco style watch - three sets of intials and dates engraved on back as it was handed down: 1939, 1957, 1973.   I wear this most when dressing for evening/out.
  4. Three Swatches (including the "Don't Be Too Late" clear) - bought in Austin in early-mid 80's.
  5. Thin Gentleman's Christian Bernard Watch - college purchase
  6. Citizen's Diver Watch - post college at the beach - had a Rubber Diver's Band, but when that wore out I bought a leather one for it.
  7. Baume & Mercier Capeland - I love a chronograph, and it was a time when the big "rich guy" watches first started creeping in - given to me by my wife as 5th wedding anniversary gift.
  8. New Hamilton stainless and gold with Croc band - bought in NYC on a family trip.
  9. Breitling Navitimer World, Croc Band - bought by my wife as my 10th wedding anniversary gift in Richmond - this is the one I wear most often, everyday.
  10. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean - Auto Cronometer, orange leather band - bought it for myself just because - great watch and great conversation starter.  It's interesting having watches from the same companies but decades apart.
  11. Rolex Daytona Oyster Perpetual with leather band.  Like the watch, but actually don't like wearing it.  It's too gaudy, and I'm turned off by how they are productionized vs handmade these days...
  1. 1959 Omega Seamaster with Seahorse back - it's in my car - I know...
  2. Tag two-tone 200M Pro-- hey, it was the 90's ?
  1. Cartier Pasha Seatimer, or (and) SS Roadster - haven't because I love them in Stainless Steel, but are they too similar to the B&M I already have?
  2. Patek Philippe - I like the Calatrava in rose gold, but I might want an antique one.
  3. An old Rolex - Full Hunter, or Bubbleback, or WWI army watch.
What else should I add to my list?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Making the new house work at the Beach

Children 10 and 8 when we moved into this house from Richmond.  Had a very hard time finding true traditional homes -- many had the "mediteranian-meets-palm beach-meets never seen an architect" look - sort of modern, funky layouts, beachy colors, big but lacking any specific style.  We ended up finding a traditional house in a great neighborhood; but the house had been owned by an older couple and felt "museum-y" & needed updating...
Started with the outside, repainting trim, replacing wood rot, added pool, landscaping etc...

Completely remodeled kitchen and all baths; added a morning kitchen in master bedroom, replaced carpets upstairs with hardwood floors and refinished everything to match.  Added wainscotting and archetectural trim where lacking...changed all chandeliers, lighting, hardware, doorknobs, hinges, fixtures from brass to nickel, painted all rooms, added recessed lighting, surround sound on 1st and 3rd floor, all custom window treatments ...

Almost all the furniture and carpets came from our old house in Richmond with similar floorplan.

Kept traditional, but updated for a young family.  I get "love it or hate it" feedback on the art throughout the house -- all original works from Virginia-based working contempory artists. May not be textbook "safe" decorating, but who wants that?  Do what you love.


Sr Year in Newport RI 1982

1. Music is linked to the memories.–Rolling Stones- Start Me Up, Joan Jett, I had an 8-track player in my car. Talking Heads. I can hear the songs of Senior year and they take me back right there.

2. I was a busboy at Seaside Restaurant on Ave of Americas/Thames in Newport…on a busy Sat AM I could make $60, which was an incredible amount of disposable money then. Later I scooped ice cream at Baskin Robbins on Belview…didn’t make $60 in two weeks.

3. Alcohol began to exert its influence on us – I had drank before but never binged like I did Sr year…Went into my first bar that year, passed out, crashed a car, etc…many bad decisions in my life have been connected to alcohol. To this day, still enjoy having a few cold ones, but the hangovers last longer now. Can still meet someone new and find common ground by getting smashed together.

4. We weren’t allowed to leave School for lunch, but I split almost every day. Jumped in my car and could make it to Thames and back in 30 minutes. Only time I ever really got caught was once when I borrowed someone else’s car and it wouldn’t start on the way home. No serious trouble.

5. Providence was not far away, but I rarely left Aquidneck Island. Cool and dangerous things were happening there. Limitations are usually more mental than physical.

6. I remember hanging around more than I remember homework. Kids sitting on the wall in front of the arcade. Cruising up Thames. Pizza Hut after school. Grilled Cheeses at the Creamery.

7. Football games were great fun.

8. We had some teachers that genuinely cared. A few years beyond graduation I sent a thank you note to two of them telling them how much they had influenced me. It is funny how folks can have a big influence on your life and never even know it. Did I affect anyone and not care for that responsibility?

9. Who was that band that played the prom? “…you make me Hype Hype Hype Hype Hyperactive…”

10. I believe living around the wealth in Newport had a distorting influence on all of us. Early 80’s. Looking through the yearbook, several folks’ ambitions were explicit: “To be a millionaire; To drive a Jaguar..” They might have said it more crassly than the rest of us, but the feelings were shared and I agree school may not have imparted something we all were looking for: “to have significance, & to live a life beyond the ordinary”.

11. There were several times – Sr Skip Day, after Brother Goose, Prom, and Graduation that is seemed as though the whole school went out, and we all ended up hanging out and partying together. I spent time with folks whom I hadn’t all year, and all was cool.

12. I had the luxury of not having spent all 4 years there, but during my Sr year, I think I just relaxed, and hit a quite confidence. I don’t remember cliques having much influence by then…did everyone like or tolerate each other that year? Maybe I was just oblivious to it.

13. I have thought a lot about those times and write fairly frankly these days without glamorizing. Looking back it seemed - especially in the Spring of '82 – that we all knew we were at the end of something we would never go back to and we were trying to squeeze the last bits out of our time.

14. I a psyched that so many of us have been able to reconnect through Facebook.

15. My memories are positive. I wore a light-gray tux to the prom...I saw Rocky Horror for the first time..Met good friends with very different life experiences from me with no judgement for the first time...I can hear The Motels, Human League, Come On Eileen, J Giles Band- Centerfold...How can I not smile?