Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Scotch and Soda? It's Tuesday Somewhere...

1. After church this past Sunday, I decided to read some brochures while I waited for my mom to finish her social rounds. So there I was, leaning against a table in the foyer, reading my newly found brochures, very unabashed. Very pubic public:

What do you expect, this is me here. I have no shame flipping through these during the after church mass exodus/ fellowship (it's like a battleship but  with a smaller dingy) B6,F4,D8.
Okay, I thought it was funny.

2. I have recently fallen in love (of course the imagery that evokes is a little girl falling into a well and then dying because nobody ever finds her and she downs in rat urine) Anyway, it's already Tuesday, and I have fallen in a big ditch of love, and I can't get up. (insert dying bug moves)

First the sad news, and inevitable tangent that will prolong the revealing of my semi-new found love:

The clothing store, Metro Park, has closed! They went bankrupt. Probably because they sell expensive clothes in a very jewish area. I am of course very sad because they were a portal to my favorite designer jeans like Diesel and Rock and Republic (Since I don't have those stores near me), without the Nordstroms incredulous up-sale on every pair (which they buy wholesale for cheap. let's be honest)

The only good thing that came out of this bankruptcy was the closing sale! Which yesterday was at 90% off....of the lowest marked price! Not even from the original price. They didn't  have many girls clothing left but they had a lot of nice men's clothing. So..duntatuntada....my boyfriend has a new wardrobe. ahahahhahahahahaha. I'm not joking. 
Either, I'm the worlds best girlfriend, or I have a serious buying-things-for-people-problem ( I'm going to go with the latter).

The best buys of the day were a few Scotch and Soda shirts in his size for ten dollars each! Madness. they are normally sold for $100 each. Even though, there was a nice oxford shirt I literally bought for $2, the Scotch and Soda finds were the the clear winners.

Why does this little juggernaut, Scotch and Soda, have so much of a hold over me?
Because I've been obsessed with the label, that's why! Because Scotch and Soda Amsterdam Couture is what I would call, the European equivalent of J-Crew, but way classier. These clothes are beautifully made to have that hand crafted look: From the stitching, to the tags to the small details in each item of clothing that separates it from anything else in it's equivocal style.

The label has a "tailored for perfect fit" motto, which is perhaps why every shirt size runs smaller than normal. So If you are a tall man, and normally wear a large, you would literally move up one or most likely two sizes (to an xl or a xxl). They have some skinny men over there in the Netherlands.

Within the past two years, Scotch and Soda started a woman's line called "Maison Scotch La femme Selon Marie". The label was originally started as just a men's company in the 80's then it was renovated after three new owners appeared in 2001. Though the women's line has become very successful, and there are over 30 Scotch and Soda retail locations world wide, there are fewer stores that carry both men and women's clothing. They also have boys and girls lines.

This is one of the Scotch and Soda shirts I bought for the Bf.Can you see the dark blue pocket square? It came with a different shirt but I stuffed it in this one like it was the abyss between a turkey's legs. Also, like my bra.

3 Tonight, I had dinner with the Brooklyn-born writer, Karen Riley. Something about her accent was charming as was her general zest for writing her passions. And her general zest for chicken parm. 

Riley has published four books altogether. Her first three books are about the New Jersey Pine Barrens that are rather astounding. Her five years of research really shows that she has compiled one of the most accurate accounts of the enormous land's history. If you are familiar with New Jersey, you have heard of the Pine Barrens, even if you do not know much about them. It is supposed to be the area that the Jersey Devil dwells. Gotta love that folklore.

If your initial assumption is that the Pine Barrens are a group of women that can't have children because they have repeatedly acted on their weird fetish for pine trees, you are probably right.

But for all intensive purposes, and legal reasons, I am obligated to suggest that The Pine Barrens are actually: 1.1 or so  million acres of land that stretch across 7counties and 52 municipalities in New Jersey. It makes up 22% of the state. This is a historical area heavy laden with 17 trillion gallons of pure water underneath, bog iron, acidic land for cranberries and blueberries to flourish. There are still ghost towns left as remnants of early colonists: glassblowers, saw mills, paper mills, cranberry bogs, grape juice factories etc.

It was a place where the dentist, Dr. Thomas Welch lived and became the first person to pasteurise grape juice (Welches grape juice anyone?).
John. L. Mason patented his airtight jar and  set up a manufacturing plant in Vinelands, NJ (Part of the Pine Barrens). It is seeping with little historical nuggets.

Riley's third book was published through the national distributor, Arcadia Publishing. Arcadia produces those series of books based of certain towns throughout the United States. You might have seen one in your local Barnes and Noble. It might say something akin to, "Images of America: Insert Your Town Here". It's the one with the Sepia colored cover featuring some very old looking photograph.Generally a photograph of the town, taken a century or so prior.

Throughout the dinner, Riley freely proffered some very useful advice about publishing, stringing for newspapers, general writing groups to join, and how to avoid being smacked by a nun from the christian brothers school teaching method. It seems that both Sister Acts and "Flying Nuns" with Sally Fields, did not portray nuns accurately. It was more of a  genre Chuck Norris/ Jackie Chan wearing a habbit kind of movie that never got made. Basically, she explained everything she learned the hard way. I also found out how much the publishing industry is changing for the worse (worse for the authors). 

Now many publishers, including the "Big Five" are doing little marketing on each author's book. I suppose with globalization and now the very easy-to-use social media outlets, marketing falls largely on the author. What the what!?

For many of the regional, and even national publishers, the author is now given a minimum of books he/she has to buy in advance and out of pocket. This is thousands of dollars out of the author's pocket because publishers are wary of printing books in a rapidly digital age.

If I already hated Kindle, Nook , iPad( well just the books for it), and  e-books before, I really hate them now with the fire of ten burning genitals! Because of the growth in digital books, the sales in bookstores has decreased. There's a reason why your local Borders has gone out of business. This is something I have feared for three years now, when I first wrote an article about the Amazon Kindle in my college newspaper.

Even though it seems that Barnes and Noble has maintained equilibrium,and maybe a few mom and pop bookstores, many publishers are still too frightened to take any risks. And thus,a vaguely familiar, though less dystopian (until China takes over), Fahrenheit 451 syndrome is taking a shape (most likely a rhombus.Triangles are a little too slutty). If only there were a way to give this technology some type of std or genital wart, then people would flee to the mountains where they buried their books.

It was a very pleasant evening, despite finding out the nuns were actually responsible for beating Rodney King and consequently, the original inventors of pinatas and I was very grateful that Riley spent so much time (four hours) discussing all things writing and sweating over some  pasta fagioli soup and our respective chicken dishes ( make no mistake, I Swat as well just not visibly). She also gave me a signed copy of her third book!

You can purchase any of Karen Riley's books @ http://karenfriley.net/

4. New Show idea. Possibly cartoon, possibly documentary:Ninja Terdles.
Tag line: "It's about time your poop fought back."

So  whether turtle or terdle these ninjas will still dwell underneath the sewers! And they will probably still eat an obese amount of pizza. So which Ninja Terdle are you?

"Kowabunga, Dude!"

Over and Out:kshh
-Michelle J


  1. You mentioned Metro Park, that went bankrupt. Would be interesting to know what they did to this company all in all. As I sold mine with the help of data room m&a .