Let's Talk About Underwear

NORMALLY I DON'T take pictures of my underwear, but hey it’s the 2000s right? So, here it is.

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LET’S TALK ABOUT GOOD DESIGN. Sometimes it’s about aesthetics, or at least it is to me. Sometimes it’s about function. Sometimes you get both.

 THE ICONIC KITCHENAID MIXER

THE ICONIC KITCHENAID MIXER

Fashion design is big business, and I’m guessing that when most people talk fashion design they are speaking of the aesthetics, the form and then the function.

Fashion design for me is first and foremost about comfort. For many years I’ve worn Polo® boxers. Not because of that little polo player embroidered somewhere on the garment, and not because I want to wear “designer” underwear. I don’t know Ralph Lauren personally, but I hope he reads my blog. As far as I know he still lives in New York City and I do have readers in New York, but I don’t know who they are (in most cases).

So Ralph, if you’re reading this: WHY IN THE WORLD DID YOU CHANGE THE DESIGN OF YOUR TRIED AND TRUE BOXERS? 

One of the reasons I’ve worn overpriced undies for years is the quality and comfort. I tend to wear my boxers until they are so threadbare they are reduced to molecules holding hands. My favorite feature has always been that the fabric is wrapped around the elastic waistband and then sewn. Soooo comfortable. [see my underwear photo above for a comparison of the two waistbands]

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Maybe it’s the spirit of “back to school” but for whatever reason, I felt compelled to go shopping for #2 pencils, new jeans and underwear. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the package and saw the irreverence for good design in this new style.

The last thing you want in the hot, humidity of an Oklahoma summer is uncomfortable underwear—especially an itchy, scatchy, prickly, bare waistband. 

A few days later

They’re not as bad as I had feared, but still… Come on Ralph! Can’t you put your design energy into something new and leave a great design like your boxers alone?

Remember that time Coke tried to change their recipe and pass it off as “new coke”? That could happen to you Ralph.

FIRETRUCK

HEARD A 10 YEAR-OLD GIRL TELL THIS JOKE to a few others her age: “What word starts with an F and ends with a K?”

Lots of raised eyebrows, hands over mouths and giggles, then she dropped the punchline and the mic — FIRETRUCK!

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Drove by a church the other day. On their marquee, “Lent starts Wednesday. Get your Ash in church.”

Maybe you’ve noticed that we have a U.S. President that uses language that, had I used those words, I would have had my mouth washed out with soap. Locker room talk has become Oval Office talk.

Desensitized? Sometimes it feels like we’ve cussed our way into a language wasteland. Where will we find a good bad word when we really need it? Like when you hit your thumb with a hammer or some S-Oh-Bee cuts you off in traffic.

For the most part the F-Bomb has become so ubiquitous it’s no longer a bomb. It’s not even a firecracker—more like just a fuse. It lights, sizzles, then fizzles to a mere puff of smoke.

I noticed that one of my favoritie podcasts is now offering a “beeped” and an “unbeeped” version.

I’ve never been much of a cusser. Oh, I do occasionally use faux cuss words like: dang, crap, etc. If I’m really mad I might say silently in my head, “GOT DANDRUFF, SOME OF IT ITCHES!!”

It’s not that I feel morally superior, it just seems like I’m trying to be something I’m not. It’s probably the same reason I don’t have a tattoo. I’m just not that cool. While I am certified in big waters sailing and coastal navigation, I’ve never taken to talking like a sailor. I could say I’m more lover than fighter. But then it sounds like I’m painting a stereotype here with all the tattoos and fighting and cussing. The fact is I love a good fight, albeit the rhetoric kind.

And in those rhetorical battles, I like the challenge of persuading with more creative language than that of the Trump thesaurus.

Speaking of over-exaggeration, at the risk of being redundant, it seems like our culturally accepted lexicon now includes literally billions of cases of hyperbole every single minute.

Maybe you’re are thinking to yourself right now, “This guy is full of ____________. You would be at least half right.

While my personal catalog of words may not be colored by profanities, I do love slang. I used to think it helped me maintain a certain cultural relativeness. Now, when I try to lay  down some hip lines I come off as comical or corny. I take my cues from oldest Grand-Girl.

I used to feel boss, but now I’m lame, was groovy but now, not so much.

Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.
— Carl Sandburg

Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to reform anyone, refine the modern discourse. There are people I love whose vocabulary is peppered with profanities. I can’t imagine them any other way. But to those who are just trying too hard, who think that somehow their cultural relevance depends on the number of curse words they can pack in to a sentence—please stop. 

Let your yes be yes, your no be no and your F-words truly bombs and not just filler for your inane ramblings.

And if you don’t like, you can go drive a firetruck.

Netflix & Chili

EASY KIDS. IT'S NOT A TYPO. It’s the 60-something’s version of a good way to spend a winter’s eve. I have a wonderful chili recipe by the way. I’ve actually won a couple of chili cookoffs with it—I would be happy to share. The secret ingredient is cocoa powder.

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There is nothing better (for supper) on cold night than a steamy bowl of chili. Sometimes I like it with spaghetti and a few crackers crumbled in the bowl. Sometimes I like it over Fritos® with chopped onion and a squirt of mustard.

So the fire is going in the fireplace, the chili is ready, now what to watch. I have been so looking forward to the new show featuring David Letterman. It didn’t disappoint. It’s called, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. It’s a long-form, sit-down interview show and in my opinion, no one does that better than Letterman. 

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The guest and the content of this first episode I found to be poignant, smart, and timely—for a number of reasons. With Letterman fairly recently “retired”, and his guest recently “retired”, and me peering in to retirement, I found something in the discussion you might not. But don’t be dissuaded. It’s well worth the time.

My next recommendation isn’t on Netflix, but then, whether you’re “Netflix and chilling” or watching Netflix while enjoying chili, it’s really not just about the Netflix is it now?

This one is on Amazon. I had first noticed ads for it and then when it won a couple of Golden Globe awards, I read the premise and decided it was worth a look. Let me say right up front, many might find the language objectionable. It’s right up there with stuff you could hear on a visit to the Oval Office or listening to a postgame interview with Carmello Anthony.

The series is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It’s set in New York City in the 50s. They call it a comedy-drama. Normally I would say you can’t have it both ways, but this one is indeed both very funny in really smart ways and an interesting story, dramatically. The series follows a housewife who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy.

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The lead character, Midge Maisel played by Rachel Brosnahan is wonderful. My favorites though are Midge’s parents Abe and Rose Weissman, played by Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle. I do fear though that I cold be too much like Abe Weissman in a not so good way; if I were a Jewish math professor.

Did I mention the language is rated R? If frequent use of sailor-speak and chili give you heartburn. I highly recommend you choose instead watching The Crown on Netflix with a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Or, you could just chill.

You Win Some

If you’ve been a loving parent of a young child just learning to play Candy Land, you know the quandary: do I let them win, do I stack the deck so that they will draw the double purple card, or do I teach them to lose well, you know in case they grow up to be a Dallas Cowboys fan or something.

That quagmire is even deeper and more daunting when you’re a grandparent and your mission in life is for your beautiful grandchildren to never, ever know loss, disappointment, heartache or failure of any kind.

 Harper & Pops & Checkers

Harper & Pops & Checkers

My grandfathers were real men, not weepy, whiny, bleeding-heart liberals like me. I played checkers with my maternal grandfather. He was a well digger and used cuss words in normal conversation. I know he never intentionally, out of pity, sympathy or compassion or anything else, ever LET me win a game. I know this because I never won a single game of checkers against him.

The game of choice of my paternal grandfather was dominoes. The occasion of letting me win or not never arose because I was never allowed to play. Seats at the domino table was reserved for serious players who could count their own points, not put their partner in jeopardy and pretty well knew the dominoes in every players hand half way through the round.

Sometimes you wonder if maybe sometimes some Adults out there, including me, had too many people in our lives who LET them win a few times too many.

What about this? Wouldn’t it be nice if KD would come back “home” Saturday night and do something to sort of help his old team win one. I’m referring of course to the game this Saturday, between the OKC Thunder and the GS Warriors, and the first time Kevin Durant will return to OKC for a game since his midnight abandonment of us a few months back. I guess that would be a hollow win wouldn’t it. I tell you what I would really like to see, not that I’m a sore loser or anything, but I would love to see KD hold Draymond Green down while Steven Adams kicks him in that place where no man likes to be kicked. Of course the sweetest victory of all would be one where the Warriors (with the exception Green, of course) play one of their best games and still lose to our Thunder.

When it comes to playing checkers with Harper, I don’t actually LET her win, but I also don’t stand in the way of her being a bit creative with the game. For example, apparently in Harper’s version of the game, she can earn a third checker on her “kinged” pair. That makes for an omnipotent King that can pretty much move anywhere at anytime. You have to watch out for those omnipotent rulers. It’s hard to beat them no matter how well youplay.

Some wise person said, “When the game is over, all the pieces go back in the box.”

Or as my mother and the mothers of other frequent losers used to say: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game that counts.”