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!