Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 111

The tie that I chose to wear on Tuesday continued the ugly tie theme. This hideous red, black, grey and tan monstrosity tested my physical limits. Just as I cannot look into the sun without damaging my eyesight, I could not look at this tie without a fear of being blinded.

This medusian neckwear offended me; its pattern a visual vulgarity. The colors by themselves are harmless, like an insect pollinating a flower. Arranged in this pattern, the colors become a dangerous swarm, capable of killing a man.

Perhaps I exaggerate, but not by much.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 110

I have decided to wear ties when they; 1) go with the clothes I want to wear, and 2) whichever tie matches first. Regardless of how ugly the tie is, I pick one tie that matches and move on. It is important to me that I give them all an equal opportunity to be worn and shared with the world.

I imagine that when I am not around all of my ties have secret meetings about me and discuss how fair, or unfair my choices are to each tie. My cat, Ducky, sits in judgment of each case and determines what punishment is appropriate for each infraction, and then acts accordingly.

When I mistreat a particular tie, and the offense is minor, she might try out the annoying meow that is amazingly loud for such a small animal. This punishment is administered when I am almost asleep, and she is somewhere on the floor. It is like a small siren that makes my heart race as if an ambulance is paying a visit to the house.

As level of tie offense escalates, so does my penalty. I might find a tasty hairball right where I step to get on, or off the bed- just to remind me that every tie should get a chance to leave the house for a little tie-cation.

Sometimes I awake in the middle of the night to find Ducky with her behind just inches away from my nose. I am sure this is some sort of cat threat, but I can’t exactly place it on the tie penalty scale. Even though nothing really happens, it is a scary event, and she knows I don’t like it.

The worst thing I can do is to totally disrespect a tie in front of his peers. Maybe I hold it up and say something like, “Oh God no! I can’t wear this tie. It is butt ugly!” The penalty, if you can imagine, is extreme. Ducky will climb up on the bed, and urinate right where I sleep.

Having animals and small children, my wife and I do have a plastic bed cover that protects the mattress from such harsh judgments. So no permanent damage is done, just an assault on my sleeping zone and the annoyance of being forced to change the sheets. My cat is smart, being 15 years old, she knows exactly how to upset me.

And all the ties in my closet rejoice…

Like this ugly one that I wore yesterday. Red background with a blue, yellow and white paisley design; I have never really liked this tie, but I was careful to not announce it in front of the other ties before leaving the house on Monday. The cat was watching me the whole time!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 109

Last Monday I wore this tie. It seems like I am far behind in my tie blog, but I am not. Last week was the beginning of online SOL testing in my school and I decided to eliminate all extra things that were not SOL related, from my daily worries. So, I only wore one tie the whole week.

It sounds like overkill, but the SOL’s really stressed me out. I think they are wrong for students. My fear was that I would subconsciously do something to sabotage the test. I spent many days leading up to the tests, and during the tests, staying busy double and triple checking things, and mostly worrying. I did not want to be the SOL Test screw up poster boy!

Oddly enough, even thinking about what tie to go with what shirt seemed too much to do. I spent the whole week working hard at school, exercising and sleeping. And I killed a half gallon or more of ice cream. That is not normally my style, worrying about SOL’s, or anything else, but this was our first time testing on computers, and specifically laptops. Everything went well, so, back to the tie-

This tie is very earthy with its green background and brown and tan paisley design across it. It is not one of my favorite ties. I knew I was in trouble on Monday when it took me 10 minutes to pick out this tie. I basically gave up and decided I could not make any more tie choices for the week.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 108

Last Thursday’s tie was one that I think is seriously ugly. It has a lot of blue in it so I have plenty of choices to go with it, but the design it where it goes wrong for me.

I think this was one of my father’s hand-me-downs because I don’t remember receiving it as a gift. I am certain that I have never worn it before last Thursday.

The only redeeming quality of this tie is that it reminds me of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon,” album cover, which is one of the greatest albums of all time. Although I must confess that hearing any of the songs now depresses me. Nothing against the music, it is wonderful, but the album is a tribute to a founding member’s struggle with mental illness. It is not the most uplifting music you will ever hear.

But back to the tie; ugly! Just because I wanted to do something I haven’t done before, I wore it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 107

Last Wednesday I wore a tie that is special because it is only one of two ties that I have ever purchased for myself. I have bought ties for my father that ended up back in my possession (I never could decide whether he knew the ties were from me, or whether it was just an accident.), but until I got this tie, and its associate, I had never paid for my own ties.

It is a good looking tie, but why would I buy a tie I didn’t like? Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for it. Since I was buying this tie to match a suit for a wedding, I simply did not trust my own judgment. Besides, at the Men’s Warehouse they have these young ladies who are paid to match ties to things for people like me.

The only thing I don’t like about this tie is that the suit that I bought with it, which is a wool suit, pulls the silk from the front of the tie. So, the tie gets fuzzy. Does this mean it is a cheap tie? None of my Dad’s ties do that.

The shirt that I wore on Wednesday was also purchased during this brief menswear spending spree I had two years ago. Both the tie and the shirt have purple in them, go figure…

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 106

Tuesday's tie this week was a different type of design. In the past, I have always steered clear of this tie, but it worked with my normal color scheme so I tried it out. What is funny about this picture is that my left collar (the collar on your right) was sticking straight up and no one told me!

In the mornings, my two youngest children are trying to soak up all the Sponge Bob they can before leaving for the day, my wife is making sure everyone has what they need to survive a school day, and my oldest child is trying to take my picture very quickly so he can go back to watching Sponge Bob with the other two. The whole time this is happening, my dog Kona is furiously running around in circles all around us making barking/whimpering sounds. There is complete chaos, so I should be thankful that my collar sticking up is the only thing that is wrong with me on any given day.

Back to the tie... The solid blue background appeals to me. It is well known that I like paisley and the colors brown and off white fit in with my normal attire, but I have always had a problem with the plaid. The brown and off white make up the plaid design that is part of the background of the paisley design.

Still, this tie is far from being the ugliest tie I have, I haven't decided which tie fits that label but I know that the tie I wore on Thursday was close. Two more blog entries before I can share that little marvel of manly neckwear.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 105

This past Monday’s tie is another from the Looney Tunes character tie collection. This tie fits in with numbers 5, 11, 45, 66, and 92. I don’t think I have anymore Looney Tunes ties in my collection so that brings the total number to six ties.

As a child, teenager, and adult I have seen a lot of cartoons. I am guessing that for at least 12 years I spent one hour a week watching the Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour. That breaks down to roughly one Looney Tunes tie for every 104 hours of watching Looney Tunes cartoons in my life. I have spent a lot of time in front of the television!

I am sure this piece of information explains a lot about who I am. I don't think it says anything good, but that’s ok, I have accepted that I am a warped individual.

"Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive." - Bugs Bunny

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You’re Fired!

Today I am taking a little break from my tie a day blogging to support the Blog for Educational Technology campaign that ISTE is promoting. Focusing on the national funding for educational technology was the goal of this blogging campaign, but I would like to discuss my local educational funding.

Living in Virginia Beach, VA, my family and I have benefited from a great educational system. My wife and I are teachers here and our children attend schools at the beach. We have all been very happy, until recently.

The economy has changed things for everyone, including those of us who live in Virginia Beach. Budgets are tighter and luxuries, such as a cost of living raise, have disappeared over the last couple of years, and it doesn’t seem like it will ever return. But still, we have it much better than other places in our state and the rest of the country, and for that I am thankful. However, that doesn’t mean I am completely happy.

The City Council for Virginia Beach approved the budget for 2010-11 yesterday,
which takes away $8.8 million from schools to fund a new animal shelter and recreation center. While those other things are nice, aren’t children’s educations worth more? We have wonderful recreation centers in Virginia Beach, do we need another? An animal shelter? I am not sure we need that at all. Of course, I am biased and I freely admit that, the same way a rec center user and animal lover without children would support the other side of the argument.

The money would have been used to update existing schools, pay for equipment, and any number of things that a school system with 81 schools in it would need. Suddenly, money that was planned for operating the school system is gone, and we don’t know how that loss will change things. On a personal level, it is very upsetting because it will effect my wife's job, my job, and our children's education.

My question is, what can I do about it? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be nothing. When teachers and parents showed up at the City Council meeting last night to protest the budget, it still passed and they took the school’s money away.

I can stomp my foot and tell everyone I know about how unfair this is, but really I only have one choice in a modern democracy; vote for someone else in the next election. Oddly enough, since it is an even numbered year I will get to voice my displeasure soon and vote against every sitting member of the current City Council. Any Republican, Democrat, or farm animal who runs against a council member has a chance for my vote. It is time to clean house, and the one thing a politician understands is a vote.

I must say that the Virginia Beach School Board did say
that they "deeply regret" the City Council's decision to tap the school's reserves and move away from lump- sum funding. Is it me, or does that statement seem to lack any strength? I don’t think the School Board has any power to fight City Council, but guess what? Their elections seem to be coming up as well, and as a voter I can choose to show how disappointed I am in them for lacking a backbone.

So, to all Virginia Beach City Council Members, and School Board Members, I am sorry, but I am very unhappy with your recent job performance. As a voter in Virginia Beach, I am saying that I would like to allow you to explore other employment opportunities that are available to you. Your services are no longer needed here, but thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing you succeed in your future endeavors.

In other words, you’re fired!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 104

A funny thing happened last Thursday, I had tiejà vu (yes, I made that phrase up at tie number 30, and I am quite proud of myself). I kept looking at my tie and thinking that I had worn it before. In a way I had, tie number 94 had the same design but different colors.

I find it fascinating that something that has been right under my nose (or in my closet) for years can surprise me like this; I was not aware that I had two identically designed ties, but with different colors. This probably indicates that I have way too many ties.

I am also wondering if my father knew he had two ties with the same design. He always told me he was color blind. If this was true, then would he buy two ties that are so similar? It would have had to be an accident...

I can remember my father holding up ties and asking me what colors were in them and if they matched shirts and jackets. My guess is that he would memorize designs and outfits and give the ties some sort of a mental Garanimal tag.

In any case, there really is no way to know how this tie duplication occurred. There is a good thing that happened because of this, I was able to use my favorite made up phrase again, tiejà vu!

Tie a Day, Number 103

I have fallen way behind in posting my ties! I guess the wonder of hitting the 100 tie mark was too much for me. I will do the best I can to make up the lost ground as quickly as possible.

The tie I wore last Wednesday was a rather plain tie. The basic navy blue background with the geometric pattern with red, cream and a little dot of blue is non offensive, and not exciting. But it is one of the forgotten ties that just hang around my closet, so I took it out for a walk.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 102

Tuesday’s tie was surprisingly attractive. With all the ties I have worn, I still have some good looking ties left to wear. I am debating having an ugly tie week or two. Don’t they deserve a day in the sun, too?

But back to this tie… It is a busy tie which really forced me to wear a solid color shirt. Any more flash or motion, and it might have given people seizures. Paisley combined with bright colors and diagonal lines really make this tie an attention getter. Not for everyone, but I did like it.

It made me feel like a daredevil

Tie a Day, Number 101

Monday’s tie had a lot going against it. Coming up after the 100th tie put a lot of pressure on this one to show up looking good.

I really believe this tie followed the 100th tie with flair. Yes, I like paisley, and the tie has grey and brown in it. Of course I liked it! It is a bit on the thin side, but I think it is an acceptable width.

All of these ties I have been wearing, combined with all those I have yet to wear, have made me realize that I am terribly uninteresting.

I love the Dos Equis “World’s Most Interesting Man” commercials. Each time one comes on I shout, “They made this commercial about me!”

My kids are very fast at pointing out that I am delusional at best, and probably need intensive psychological help because the commercials are obviously not talking about me. I guess that is my fault for not having dumber children. They must get all the brains from their mother’s side…

Just one look at this blog should remind me how mind numbingly boring I am.

But there is hope! Now I can join the Dos Eguis Most interesting Man Academy! With courses like, “Command of the Animal Kingdom” and “Rites of Passage,” I am certain to be become a more interesting man almost overnight.

Well, maybe I shouldn’t set my sights so high.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tie a Day, Number 100

I was shocked on Thursday when I released that it was my 100th tie of the school year. Of course, I have been keeping track of it every day, but that is a lot of ties! It made me feel like Steve Martin on new phone book day.

The tie I wore on Thursday is a beautiful silk tie. The design is large and very detailed. The colors are bright and jump right out at you no matter what you wear with it. I am sure the tie would have looked much better with a nicer shirt, but I wore the shirt more for comfort than because it was a nice dress shirt.

It has been kind of fun wearing a different tie each day to work. At first I tried to plan out what I would wear, but I fell back into the surprise a day routine where I would pick the tie and shirt on the fly each morning.

Wearing a different tie each day has forced me to think more about something that I never gave any thought to before. I haven't come up with any important insights into solving world problems, nor have I saved any lives, but it has been an interesting diversion.

I think I probably have 20 more tie days left in this school year calendar, which leaves about 30 more ties in the closet unworn. I am not sure what to do about the remaining ties, but I am sure I will figure something out.

Below is a little video I made of almost all of the 100 ties.