Posts Tagged ‘Uniqlo’

“When you get to be 50 you find yourself talking and thinking as much about death and money as you used to about sex.”

-Jeffrey Bernard, Lowlife


While I haven’t yet alighted on Mr. Bernard’s perch of 50 at the time of the above quote, I have, as far back as I can remember, reflected on death and money (or at least the wages of sin.) Typically, when considering death and money in the same thought, I’m usually thinking of whose death might bring me money… but so far no one has left a cent. My approach towards both death and taxes is similar — namely, that I have a habit of being late on one account, and plan on being even later to the other. So far one (positive?) thing about how aged I’ve become is that I’m beginning to look like I belong in all those grandpa duds I’ve been sporting for years. One of my lingering problems is that I still look like a lot of things I’m not; bourgeois, solvent, well adjusted, or gay. Though I am none of the above, few can accept it.

Regardless of appearances, one club I may actually belong to is what Paul Fussell describes as the “floating class,” a.k.a the bohemian class, a phenomena which exists outside our  western caste system because it is unassociated with income. Bohemians are a tricky bunch; wearing uniforms outside our station (check), ignoring local morality (check), famously consorting with the disreputable (check), and being notoriously (if often  entertainingly) eccentric/difficult/unreliable companions (yeah, probably). All very amusing until it isn’t: some aging bohos are a tragic lot as Mr Bernard and his milieu demonstrated to the scandalized respectable classes (who followed his musings with the same excitement and horror as one watches cars crash.) His column was astutely described as a “suicide note in weekly installments.” I’m hoping this blog is slightly more upbeat. Only slightly.

Among of the paradoxes of aging (beyond the truth that youth really is wasted on the young) is that every new moment you are the oldest you’ve ever been, so the current “you” always feel old in comparison to yesterday’s you even if, in context of your family/community, you’re not. This might be why I always wake up feeling old.

This was the day I met up with KMK in North Beach for happy hour. Along my way through the Financial District I stopped to window shop at CCC.


This photo is the view looking back down Columbus to where the Montgomery Block used to be (built 1853, demolished 1959,) or “monkey block” for short, where the pyramid now stands. The Montgomery Block, a 4 storey monolith of a building, had survived the cataclysm of ’06 and was home to Pisco Punch, which was invented on the ground floor at the Bank Exchange Saloon during the barbary days, later perfected by the saloon’s last owner Duncan Nicol, who reportedly took the recipe to grave in 1926; the upper floors served as working space to many artists and writers, including Bierce and Twain.


This long time neighborhood institution was down the street from our watering hole. A worker owned co-op since 2003. Now that’s my kind of socialism.


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The brooding gray chill of fall has been both refreshing and worrisome. Invigorating, because I enjoy de-mothing the wool sweaters and armoring myself against the wind. The cold has also been an inspiration to research as yet untasted artisan scotches (though I hardly need another excuse). Because my bank statements are often printed in red ink, that’s reason enough to open another bottle. But I’m nervous since the early rains are an ominous sign of what’s in store for the rest of winter. I say this because we had an extraordinarily foggy summer, which if past local seers of weather are correct, means a torrent of wet this winter. Build the ark now.

Seen here in some seasonal professorial garb. Missing, besides elbow patches, pipe, and flask, is the ruler (or perhaps Louisville Slugger) with which to rule any little convicts-in-training. I like Zara as far as brands go; their strength is certainly their jackets and overcoats. But they can go astray in the trouser department, mostly with an anorexic fit to the legs or a waist placed no higher than the colon. Since they are a European company, this might be a simple metric conversion problem. The trousers pictured  (forgiving my usual public flaunting of them unpressed) is a winning exception. The Uniqlo cardigan was bought in Tokyo, is a size large, and will no longer fit after a piece of Chicago style pizza. This is amusing because I can, often as not, wear an American small. Although, with my eating-for-hibernation diet of late, there have been less “small” sizes in recent rotation.

Tie: House of Edgar (of Scotland)
Shirt: Brooks Bros
Cardigan: Uniqlo
Jacket: untagged
Trou: Zara

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In the holy city of angels on a visit to pay our respects to PW Herman. We saw the last night of the local run of his stage show. Ages ago (I should say eras ago), on my first southern California sojourn, I was surprised how much it looked just like it does on TV. The people, while occasionally afflicted with a TV test-pattern like personality were, overall, much nicer than the society of rednecks I grew up with in the Rustbelt. That said, I suspected that the politeness was due to my not living there, and therefore not competing for their place in line at the crafts service table. Canadians were the same, but their civility was just, with my being American, out of terror that I might be armed.

I picked up today’s tie in Tokyo. It ties surprisingly well for polyester and, even better, when you consider that I paid about a $1.00 for it. New. That is the beauty of Daiso. The stateside Daisos haven’t delivered on the wearable clothing options, besides bandanas, where they strangely excel. I had never realized the Japanese hausfraus who shop there would be so into flagging. What color is subway frottage anyway?

The Uniqlo jacket is also an import. Though I suspect it was crafted as an export since the sleeves are actually too long! Nearly everything XL I tried on in Tokyo was too small. I’m hardly an XL by any standard, no matter how generously one might “round up.”

Tie: Daiso
Shirt: Polo
Vest: H&M
Jacket: Uniqlo
Trousers: BR

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