Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Sharp Dressed Man

I'm putting together some blogs for my son about becoming an adult. So if some of my posts seem a bit "master of the obvious" just bear with me. He's graduating this year and I want him to have stories that he can read, or not, about life and lessons learned. This one is about shoes. 

Shoes. Just writing the word makes me want to go shopping. At the Marshall's shoe superstore of course, because I've got a kid leaving for college in a year. Shoes are my Achilles heel.  Even when I've sworn off shopping, shoes will lure me back. My other weakness is travel. For example, this summer I went to France with my friend Sylvie completely on a whim, partially financed by credit card debt, and I'm so glad I did. 

When I was a kid, our family traveled quite a bit. My dad worked for IBM and was very successful, always winning trips to beautiful places like Hawaii. And then we moved to various places too, as all IBM'ers did back in the day. The only trip I recall taking outside the US as a kid was crossing the Rio Grande into Mexico via rowboat. Then small donkeys took us to a tiny border town. I'm pretty sure we made that crossing illegally, but it was back in the 70's when there wasn't a wall.

In college, I spent my junior year in Paris. Lucky girl. I know that now. I probably knew it then, but I definitely know it know. Having a home base in Europe gave me the opportunity to train it to lots of other destinations and I traveled as often as I could. When I got out of school, I continued to travel frequently. My mom planned this wild trip to Egypt and India and it was on that trip that I learned the lesson about shoes. 

I also learned about dysentery. But here's what I learned about shoes. 

We were riding on a barge down the Nile for several days with a group of fellow travelers from England, New Zealand and Canada. One of the women traveling was a headhunter in London. She had a very scary demeanor, even with the Egyptians, that said don't mess with me. And she had one of those classic English hairstyles like the Queen. I have no idea how she kept it so rigid under the conditions we were living in on that boat.

We were talking one night about her job and the interviewing process. She told me she makes an immediate decision based on the job candidate's shoes. If their shoes are scuffed or not cared for, they're out. That's it. Not because they don't have the credentials or the education. She makes a snap decision based on their shoes. 

I thought wow that's harsh. Then she explained that if the job candidate doesn't take care of their shoes that says something about them. Maybe it says this interview isn't important to me or I'm disorganized, I'm sloppy etc... She explained that the shoes don't have to be new or expensive, they just need to look sharp. Today, I have pairs of shoes I've had for years and I make sure when I'm headed out to a meeting or a party, those shoes are polished and look good. Sometimes I take a black sharpie to them to fill in scuffs.

My advice for you Will is to buy the best shoes you can afford and then keep them looking sharp. You never know who's watching.


Is Nothing Sacrum?

It's been so long since I've written a blog, I think I've forgotten how. Here goes.

About a month ago I visited my mom in Savannah to help with some things around her house. I love Savannah. Man they know how to eat in that town. We tried two new Savannah hotspots, The Grey and The Florence. For those of you who've never been to Savannah, time's a wastin'. What's happening in Savannah is local entrepreneurs and powerhouse art school SCAD are reclaiming dozens of old properties that have fallen into disrepair. They repair them, bringing back their history and add their own dash of cool.

The Grey is the site of the old Greyhound Bus station in Savannah so the restaurant and bar feature classic elements from the original space. As they put it, "Occupying a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal that they painstakingly restored to its original luster, The Grey offers a food, wine and service experience that is simultaneously familiar and elevated." Bon App├ętit named The Grey the best designed restaurant of the year for 2015. 

The Florence is the work of celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, Top Chef judge and a Canadian who has apparently fallen in love with the South. I googled him - his wife is from Georgia, so yes he is literally in love with the South. Formerly an abandoned ice factory, The Florence is part of a mixed use space that includes a hipster coffee shop and dorm-style residences targeting SCAD students. The Florence bills itself a blend of Southern and Italian food using farm fresh local ingredients. Both The Florence and The Grey are well worth the airfare to Savannah.

Anyway, back to the whole sacrum idea behind this blog. Actually my veering off course to discuss food when I started out thinking about yoga is another perfect example of my ADD brain. And why I can't do yoga. 

On the day of my departure from Savannah, my mom and I took a Barre / Pilates / Yoga class at the Savannah YMCA with instructor Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a local but she left Savannah for a time to pursue dance in New York. So she's got the Southern accent and the lineage but she's not exactly marching in lockstep with the other locals. 

During the class, Elizabeth kept referencing the sacrum, pull in your sacrum or be mindful of your sacrum -- but in my mind, I was thinking what is my sacrum exactly? What does it look like? Are you sure I have one because i can't find it. And this is why I can't do yoga. This is why it's amazing that I can even sit down to write for an hour each day, much less hours every day. Because my mind is constantly racing to the next thing, and the next thing and something shiny that I see out of the corner of my eye. 

The weird thing is my shooting thoughts often intersect as they do here in this blog. Because my sacrum is a bone that supports my upper body which is supporting my food habit which is supported by The Grey. When you go, may I suggest the Red Rice Cakes and oysters if it's an "r" month. We had the Blue Points from Connecticut.  

Formal definition of the sacrum here: The sacrum is a large wedge shaped vertebra at the inferior end of the spine. It forms the solid base of the spinal column where it intersects with the hip bones to form the pelvis. The sacrum is a very strong bone that supports the weight of the upper body as it is spread across the pelvis and into the legs. 

And yes, I have one. I just don't know how to be mindful of it. That's me and my mom at The Grey. Thanks lady bartender for taking our pitcha.