honor among thieves.

>> Thursday, December 15, 2011

i'm actually not sure if there is any honor among thieves, as the saying goes.  as of late, there have been several thefts around the office, in addition to some oddities - such as lights being on in the office when we arrive in the morning, desk drawers being left open, or door locks oddly unlocked.  all signs pointed to a thief, yet our landlady insisted that a legendary ghost resides in the building.

needless to say, i uncovered some information that pretty much eliminates the "ghost" theory (sorry.) and puts a little more weight behind the "thief" hypothesis.  obviously, it inspired the etsy treasury above. 


doctor martens, i presume.

>> Wednesday, December 14, 2011

doctor klaus martens was a doctor during the world war II era, who had injured his ankle while skiing in the bavarian alps. of course, necessity is the mother of invention, and finding that his standard issue military footwear didn't provide adequate support to his injury, he made some custom adjustments to his boots - softer leather uppers and air-cushioned soles. after the war, he hooked up with an old friend, dr. herbert funck, who was fascinated with martens' design and the two went into business together, using reclaimed rubber from the luftwaffe airfields. (note to self - handmade ruled, even back then.)

eventually the design caught on, especially gaining favor with german housewives, who were initially the largest consumer base of the comfy, durable boot. martens and funck sold the patent rights to manufacture the shoe in the UK to footwear giants R. griggs group ltd, who made some minor modifications to the design and branded the soles as AirWair.

the first boot to come off the UK production line was the classic 8 hole oxblood - named 1460 (for the date it rolled out - April 1st, 1960) and still the benchmark product today. they quickly became popular with postmen, police officers and blue collar workers. in the 70's & 80's they were adopted by skinheads, punks and musicans - remember when people used to get 'rolled' for their docs? and then the whole grunge thing brought another layer to the style.

docs from jeanginakim on etsy (definitely on my wish list)
 after a dip in popularity in the early '00s, the UK factories were shut down and production moved to asia. (some hardcore fans defected and now choose similar brands that are manufactured in the UK only). but recently, there has been a revival - and how could there not be?

i'm on my 6th pair (14 hole burnished brown miranda boots - yum) and i still love them. they are comfy and utilitarian and go great with skirts and jeans. and seriously, kicking someone's butt just isn't the same in flip flops.


it will rain.

>> Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i didn't think i'd like bruno mars - that video with dancing dudes in monkey masks just wasn't my thing. but he definitely redeemed himself with this song.


and 'ampersand'.

the ampersand has to be my favorite symbol in the typographical realm. being a little bit obsessed with typography and fonts, it appeals to me on many levels. it's dreamy curves are formed from the latin word "et" (meaning 'and', of course) - the "e" and the "t" are blended together to make the symbol. apparently, it has been used since the 1st century AD, & is also referred to as a "ligature". (hmmm. kind of kinky.)
wikipedia states - "Traditionally, in English-speaking schools when reciting the alphabet, any letter that could also be used as a word in itself ("A", "I", and, at one point, "O") was preceded by the Latin expression per se (Latin for "by itself"). Also, it was common practice to add at the end of the alphabet the "&" sign as the 27th letter, pronounced and. Thus, the recitation of the alphabet would end in: "X, Y, Z and per se and". This last phrase was routinely slurred to "ampersand" and the term crept into common English usage by around 1837. Through popular etymology, it has been claimed that André-Marie Ampère used the symbol in his widely read publications, and that people began calling the new shape "Ampère's and".

so that would make the 'ampersand' the only letter of the alphabet that is still used widely today. mhm.  how's THAT for your trivia question of the day?
nowadays, it is used widely in formal names of companies, as well as when referring to proper names, like on wedding invitations. it is also incorporated in computing formal logic, C++, Perl, Fortran, HTML, XML, SGML and BASIC. geeky and romantic. i have to admit that when i was rethinking my etsy shop name, i was tempted to use a phrase that would require the inclusion of the ampersand. because it is THAT cool. 
it's funny because in most handwritten communications, i use the 'ampersand' quite often because it is cool to write and looks fabulous in ink on paper. i wonder if i could make one out of wire...

(this blog post brought to you by wikipedia, these lovely etsy picks, and the letter "&".)


mistress. (aka committment issues)

>> Sunday, December 11, 2011

the first time i heard this song, i was in an empty greyhound bus heading towards west virginia via some winding back road, listening to a college radio station on my walkman. yeah, it was THAT long ago. but the song sticks with me still... beautiful and haunting - the struggle with fidelity & committment. this is why i will not get a tattoo.

(do you know that the red house painters have influenced death cab for cutie, hayden, and the great lake swimmers? very cool.)


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