My great aunt’s estate


My great aunt’s estate (my maternal grandmother’s sister, that is) is getting auctioned off in New Jersey this weekend. Boy, there’s a weird feeling for you. Seeing as both of us are from Chester County in Philadelphia, Kate and I share a Thomas ancestor here and there. (Mine: Anna Thomas, of the meek and Quakerly grand tour diary. Kate’s: George Thomas, Anna’s brother, who I’m convinced was sneaking out of the hotels to whoop it up in Khartoum.) The auctioneer’s indifferently-spelled history of the Thomas family is here, though it’s got me scratching my head about which aunt is which.


There’s likely to be a Young family/Smith family caravan to Morris Plains, New Jersey to bid on some items, like possibly this corner cabinet of my grandmother’s, or maybe these dessert spoons, or this bookcase, which has no sentimental value but is a great bargain if the estimate is to be believed. And I’ll probably bid on this Westtown School Sampler (from two years after the school opened!)


Missing is the cool suit of samurai armor that Dr. Chandler brought back from feudal Japan, and that used to scare the hell out of me when I rounded a corner in the attic. Just as well; I wouldn’t have been able to afford it. As it is, I don’t think I have the spondulix to get this smirking matriarch.

My great aunt’s estate

Sartorial Week continues My friend

Sartorial Week continues

My friend at work, Kyle Smith, has spontaneously decided to start “Bow Tie Thursdays.” This is the same Kyle Smith that actually made one bazillion dollars selling CutCo knives during his summers in Kansas City, and whose Horatio Alger powers will either turn him into a kind and benevolent force for change in this world, or a towering force of evil, depending on whether he gets bitten by the radioactive spider or snorts the evil green swamp gas. Either way, I’m happy to join in on his project, and hopefully get [My employer] a reputation as “that Orville Redenbacher agency.”


Also, in re: kilts and eyepatches, my friend Alejandro Rubio sent me proof that eyepatches are the cognoscenti’s accessory of choice, and — best of all — Tiffany Webb, member of the The Ultimate Water Gun Council of Elders* sent me this link to my very next lawn-mowing, painting, and general utility outfit for the new homeowner. Follow this link immediately!


www.utilikilts.com


*(Moniker: “Mrs. Webb”, which has, I think, a Diana Rigg Healey/catsuit/judo-chop panache)

Sartorial Week continues My friend

Until Kate and I finish

Until Kate and I finish painting our house, I’m still living out of a loose conglomeration of boxes and duffel bags, and am ironing shirts blearily at 5:45 AM. Which I don’t mind, but there’s a pile of repeat-offender clothing I’m gonna burn when the rest of my wardrobe is out of storage and back on full rotation.


The setup has hampered my (already sketchy) organizational skills, apparently: I made it all the way to Trenton, New Jersey this morning before realizing that I left my wallet behind. A moment of panic ensued, but just a moment: I still had my Amtrak pass, my laptop, my Bluetooth phone and GPRS service, my wireless webcam, my iPaq, my rubberized messenger bag, and a solid pair of boots. In fact, the list of things that I could and could not do is a twenty-first century inversion of common human abilities:


STILL ABLE TO DO WHILE ON THE STREET IN NEW YORK WITH NO WALLET:


  • Email or talk to almost anyone on the planet.
  • Get a satellite photo of the train station.
  • Change the items on the CBS Soaps In Depth website to anything I want.
  • Order flowers, transfer my assets to Switzerland, send a low-bandwith streaming video of wherever I’m standing to anyone, anywhere.

NOT ABLE TO DO:

  • Buy a cheeseburger.
  • Open doors.

The last one was the one that hurt; I became the sheepish one in the hall, waiting for someone with a proximity pass to let me back from the bathroom. Will the survival guides of the 22nd century describe how to fabricate an EZ-Pass out of tinfoil and a cigarette box?

Until Kate and I finish

Ride to work, work to

Ride to work, work to ride

This week has been my first full week of the new commuting schedule: 6:40 AM train from Exton, PA, arrives Penn Station at 8:54. 6:30 PM train from Penn Station, arrives Exton at 8:49 PM. In bed at 10:30, get up at 5:30, repeat.


It’s not that bad, frankly, and it has its fun parts: I’ve been riding my motorcycle the 5.8 miles to and from the station, which offers me a pretext to wear a bowtie and carry a black Shoei helmet at the same time. And it lets me cover the same strip of road in all different kinds of weather, which has the odd effect of making me feel like I’m starring in a video game, combatting all the different settings. So far this week: drizzle, sun, fog, downpour (Kate gave me a ride.) It’s all worth it, though: the consultant who comes home every night is cooler than the consultant who stays on-site during the week, and the guy who rides a motorcycle to work is cooler than the guy in the station parking lot with a “ride to live, live to ride” license plate.


Now if I could just include a kilt and some kind of eye patch, I’d be on to something.

Ride to work, work to