Dressing Well for the World Wide Web

2012 was a monumental year for me, both personally and professionally. One of the things that was transformative for me was learning to dress well after several false starts. If you know me, you know I came from a world of rock tees and torn jeans. Like many guys, the transition to work wear was painful. I struggled with ill-fitting business casual, wore bad shoes and only got it right if I picked the wardrobe out with help from my wife. Jesse Thorn’s Put This On changed all of that for me in 2012.

I don’t remember when exactly I started watching and following Put This On. I devoured Season 1 and have been following Season 2 with great interest. I even bought a Savile Row suit on eBay and had it tailored for me! Quite a leap for a guy who used to wear a torn (and awesome) Sonic Youth “Sister” tee to the office on a routine basis.

Needless to say, the series changed the way I viewed menswear. The message that clothes are important never sank in until I started to see that you didn’t need to spend a fortune to present yourself in a manner that makes you stand out. Just knowing how shirts, pants and jackets should fit goes a long way toward looking better and project confidence. The best part? I already had lots of great pieces hanging in my closet! You may, too.

As my college buddy Tom told me once, “There’s no such thing as being overdressed; there’s only looking good.” It was great advice, and I’m sorry I waited so long to take it. Please take this advice: if you’re a guy who wants to improve his wardrobe and doesn’t know where to begin, please visit, watch all the videos and read it every day. You’ll be glad you did.


I Went to the Gym

Not earth-shattering news by any stretch of the imagination, but for this dad, a major step toward getting back in shape after an arduous two-year hiatus.

Now that Charlie’s sleeping more normally, I’ve decided to hit the gym three times per week in the evenings. I’m not quite ready to give up the additional sleep that I just recovered, so I’ll hold off on waking up early to run for the time being.

Feels great to be back in the gym, even if I feel like a stranger there. I kept trying to remember my regimen from, um, sophomore year of college to no avail. If you have recommendations of a decent workout program, be in touch!


Charlie Turned Two!

What a wonderful party in the park! Feels like it was only yesterday that he turned one: the Buttercream cupcake truck; a professional photographer; tons of friends and family and a hot day on Lemon Hill for a very excited (and sleepy) one-year-old boy. Now he’s two and the changes are so dramatic it’s hard to keep up. He’s picking up more language every day, expressing himself more verbally than physically, which is a relief for all persons in his vicinity, especially house pets.

It was so great to see Mark and Erin out with Elena at almost two weeks and to see Armando and Rebecca with Lily when they were just hours from being parents again. Welcome Rio! Charlie was thrilled as ever to see his aunt Eileen and her puppy Jax as well as his “Damma” and Grandpa, not to mention my mom, who managed not to get too lost in Strawberry Mansion before finding us on Lemon Hill. GPS is a wonder except in some urban environments apparently.

It was so nice to encamp on Lemon Hill for a lovely June afternoon spent with friends and family and food. Bittersweet that we say goodbye yet again to our friends Tony and Katie as they embark on a cross-country trip to Seattle for a few years. Can’t wait to visit! I’ve seen a few episodes of “The Killing” so I just know it’s going to be a beautiful place to live and work.

We’ve managed to survive two years of very little sleep to raise a beautiful little boy and I can honestly say I’ve loved every minute, even when I’m awake at 4 am watching reruns of “Golden Girls” on the couch.


We’re Updating Our Kitchen

If you’re a homeowner, then you know how hard it can be to work on the projects you want to versus those you have to. We’ve been talking about making changes in our kitchen since before Charlie arrived. Now the time has come!

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but it’s something of a big, dumb space. It’s a long, wide rectangle with all the cabinets on one side and an open shelf from Ikea on the other. Not ideal.

So we’re working with our friends Chad and Nic at Postgreen to update it elegantly and affordably. I’ll post regular updates on the project, along with tips on how to survive a kitchen remodel without spending a month at restaurants. Get ready for some guerilla recipes out of crockpot, rotisserie and rice cookers, people!


In Praise of December

It’s cliche, but having a baby really changes everything. I’ve been seeing our holiday preparations through Charlie’s gleaming eyes and it just fills me with joy. Hearing him say “Hanta” or “ho ho ho” puts a smile on my face. Cannot wait to see his reaction to the tree once it’s completely decorated.

Thing I can’t recapture is that feeling of life slowing down. December used to feel so long to me as a kid. Not sure if it was that the days were growing shorter, or if the time spent inside meant more time with family, but the season could really sink in. Feel like I could just soak up the Christmas music blaring out of our little GE cassette player, the smell of cookies filling our old farmhouse. It was a warm, safe, welcome feeling that maybe only a kid can feel.

Trying to re-create that magic isn’t easy, but we’re trying. Helen and I have been burning obnoxiously-scented holiday candles, cranking up the Christmas tunes on the TV and getting everything together for our annual Christmas party this weekend. Really looking forward to seeing friends and enjoying their company. Can’t wait!


No Marathon for Me This Year

I had big plans for the 2010 marathon season after my marathon mess last year. Instead I won’t be running at all. Sitting this one out. And I’m majorly bummed.

What happened?

For starters, snow. Lots of it. Even if I wanted to get outside and gear up for spring races I couldn’t have as Philly was besieged by a record 73″ of snow. But that shouldn’t matter, right? Skip those spring races and train for fall! That’s the ticket!

Wrong again, sadly.

Mornings are a tricky thing in our household. Charlie still wakes up to nurse around 4 AM or so and cannot ever settle himself back to sleep. And Helen’s not a morning person, so mornings are Daddy’s duty. So instead of knocking out 3 or more miles a morning, I’m chasing Charlie around the house trying to feed and clothe him before he’s off to daycare.

Much as I’d like to be Super Dad and find a way to work out either during the workday or afterwards, I just can’t. Running at night in Fishtown/Port Richmond is worth your life simply because of visibility and traffic. And who wants to run after dinner? Not me, that’s who.

I like to think that once Charlie weans he’ll be more willing to sleep later simply because he won’t have the urge to nurse the moment he wakes at the crack of dawn. Maybe then I’ll be able to sneak out, fire up my Garmin watch and get in a few miles before I have to get him dressed and ready for preschool. Fingers crossed!