Monday, December 31, 2012

"What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it."

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is looking forward to a debonair new year!

1.) Drawing - I've been consistently drawing, and I received "Drawing for the Absolute Beginner" by Mark and Mary Willenbrink, so hopefully you shall see a distinct improvement in my drawing skills over the next few weeks. Below is my attempt at re-drawing This. Faces are tough to truly master the expression and exact look.

2. Style - my 3 piece suit came in (from the previous post) and it looks awesome. In addition, I received a nice purple shirt/tie combo which I'll post pictures of when I have a good one. Lastly the newest addition to the wardrobe is a Nautica peacoat jacket ($45.00).

Short update for today as I prepare for the festivities, but I have some funny/interesting stories for you in the next couple days! I wish everyone a wonderful New Years! See ya in 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein

Recently, I had to focus on some of my professional goals. I had an interview on a job that I've wanted for a long time. I updated my resume, cover letter, and curriculum vitae. Shaved the goattee, and prepped my way through all the answers and making sure my clothes allowed me to look as professional as possible. The interview went very well, but I won't know for another week or so if I landed the job (the biggest knock against me is my age). This is what I wore to the interview (pose was to try to show off the watch as well):

1.) Continuing Education - For those of you looking to improve your knowledge in a wide variety of topics as well as boost your resume I highly recommend the following 2 sites. They provide you with FREE education that results in a certificate / diploma to boost your resume. (Many of the top universities across the country are also providing free courses, but do not provide any certificate of completion from my understanding). I am going to put extra effort to focus on completing some certifications / courses.

a.) - Provides numerous courses leading up to Diploma's in subject areas.
b.) - Provides free courses that give individual certificates of achievement.

2.) Chess skills - I haven't had a lot of time to focus on improving my chess game, but that will change (starting with method- then focusing on actual game play). I borrowed the Book "The Art of Chess" which I will admit has been a bit of a brutal read to begin with. It will be my "down-time" book. The first thing that surprised me is they immediately condemn learning the opener's first (as I had previously been trying to do with a friend) focusing on the points of how are you going to control all your pieces when you can't control/know the theory behind controlling 3. 

3.) Political Involvement - I officially submitted my application to be on 4 local boards (Emergency Management / Environmental Council / Board of Health / Fire Safety), I am not sure how the selection process works, but I included a copy of my resume and references as per their request. In addition, I was nominated to run an event for a national charity charity based off my performance/skill set (Last year the event had more than 15,000 participants). 

4.) Continue Improvement of Style - If I get the job, I will need to be the suave debonair dressed to the "T" at all times. I bought another suit and a cufflink/tie bar set for the next set of interviews or the job.


5.) Drawing Skills - I wasn't able to make it to the drawing class last week (cancelled the next 2 weeks due to the holidays), but I have been sketching/drawing when I have a chance to keep improving my skills. In the car I drew the Mad Men Painting that I want to make, though I found the pencils I had made it difficult to produce the effect:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

“A line is a dot that went for a walk.” - Paul Klee

Ahh many updates on the dashing and elegant, soon to be debonair! You may have noticed this is now an "adult" blog, due to one of the activities (drawing) listed below. One of the messages I received on how to improve the blog was that it needed more porn, so I obliged in the most debonair way possible.

1.) Drawing Night - So I was actually able to make it out to the Drawing Night with my friend. I had been doodling/trying to get a bit better whenever I had time for the week before it. First, my review of the class. It was awesome, I had an absolute blast, my only criticism is that it's difficult to get to since it's a Tuesday night and a decent trip away from work. The class itself, wasn't so much a "class" as simply a group of people figure drawing a model (my pictures below). At first, it was a crazy scramble, they start with 30 second poses (for about 10 poses) then each couple rounds they increase the time, ending at 10 minutes. Below, I put my best drawing from each group/time frame. I am proud to say, I didn't use an eraser once, or go back to modify these at all and think they turned out pretty good for a first time artist. (BTW, I had to turn the blog to "adult" due to the nature of these photos).:

This was the last picture of the 30-second poses. Came out by far the best.

Best from the 1-minute poses.

Best from the 5-minute poses.
One of the last poses, if the shoulders didn't come out so big, it would have been a favorite.
The last pose of the night (20 mins). Found faces to be very difficult, but overall proud of myself.

2.) Chess Mastery- Ok, so this one will take a while. I know the basic rules of chess, and am not TERRIBLE, but am far from good. My game plan for improving my skill set in this area to study opening/closing theories and then try to implement them over time as I play. I played against a close friend and went 0-2, randomly matched me up and I went 2-1. Any recommendations on improving are appreciated!

3.)  Boxing Classes - I signed up for Boxing Classes from Yipt. 20 classes for $29.99 (claimed $400 dollar value). I am extremely competitive by nature, so I believe this will really increase my drive to work out/improve in that area.

How can you not love Harvey Spectre 

4.) Areas I've been slacking in / Resolution:

     A.) Public Speaking- I will attend a Toastmasters next Wednesday night.

     B.) Zippo Tricks - So I haven't found a zippo that I like, I'm open to suggestions, but I want one that is truly classy / elegant, yet something more than just a polished silver. Maybe one that can make a joke? I liked this one

     C.) Learn to Dance - This is probably the one I've had the most hesitation towards doing. I'll admit, I'm nervous about it. There is a Zumba class tomorrow night, I might just be able to force myself to do it.

     D.) Learning a New Language - still have the Rosetta Stone sitting on my desk. Still don't have sound. I think I'm going to buy the cheapest functioning lap top I can find solely for this purpose.

Lastly, I am thinking I am going to become politically involved. Very much on the local level/part time at this point, but will be joining a few boards/commissions such as the Environmental Committee, Emergency Management Council, and possibly the Board of Health. 

Stay tuned for a few interesting pick up attempts and results, which are always rather amusing.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

“Folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” - Abraham Lincoln

Unfortunately due to an extreme work schedule I was unable to attend the drawing class last Tuesday, but will definitely be attending this week. In the interim, I started drawing/doodling to work on the basics in the interim. Attached is a blurry picture of my first drawing (with the real picture attached in the top corner).

My focus of the week was to do some research and find a watch to be a staple of my wardrobe. Providing an elegant addition without it being overwhelming / being too bold. Sticking with my budget themed improvements, I did a research on "reputable" brands and styles that are generally accepted for dress watches. I almost fell off my chair when I started seeing the prices of "decent" watches ranging between $2,000-$5,000. I personally can't remotely justify spending that kind of money on a watch. I decided to buy Seiko, which is considered a high-end reliable watch, but doesn't have the name-brand (minus the "Grand Seiko" and a few others). I settled on a Seiko SGEE99 (pictured below) for $38 (retails at $215), and will probably attempt to find a vintage Omega Seamaster to add to my collection at a later date, as they are well respected by watch enthusiasts but have a reasonable price tag. I would like to change the band out on the Seiko I bought to a black, but truly enjoy the silver-face that seems elegant and not obnoxious. I was truly amazed how much of a sub-culture and following the watch community has!

Since the last post, I ran a 5k (Big Chill) which was a charity event to get toys for under privileged children. I have been working out consistently but have been slacking in the running department, but was happy to finish in just under 32 minutes (yea ... I know, that time sucks, but at least I got out there and ran it right?).

Other notable events include enjoying Santa Con hosted in Asbury, A fun trip to McSorley's (possibly the best bar in the world) for my brothers birthday, and a few concerts. I've been trying to say "Yes" to as many events as possible and just trying new things (not quite to the same extent as Jim Carrey) 

Ahh the fun of the "Waterfall" at McSorleys - 3 Beers. Alright so maybe neither of these are "Debonair", but as you can see I'm dressed for the occasion with the Ermenegildo Zegna Vest/Shirt. (Fedora got in the way of the beer mugs, and was removed lol)

I need to spend some time focusing on finding a good pair of dress shoes that wrap up the overall look.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Every Man is guilty of the good he did not do.

So the holidays slowed down my updates a bit. But I've still been making progess, mainly in working out (down another 7 lbs), and in my wardrobe (new pics to follow). I've also got my place cleaned up and organized.

New Wardrobe Items:

So there's a bunch of additions, and I just wanted to scramble a few in here. Got 2 new vests (pictured above), 2 Thomas Pink Shirts (1 pictured), and a Purple Ralph Lauren shirt (pictured), and best of all is a new Ermenegildo Zegna Soft Suit (retail value of $2,695) .... the total cost for all of the above shipped? $112.00

As you can see I dabbled in a bit bolder/brighter shirts. This was something I had stayed away from in the past, always going plain shirts with bold ties. I can honestly say, I love the new look, though I will need a few solid color ties.

I spent some time doing "research" on style, trying to get to know what's right/wrong. I read two books:

Gentleman - A Timeless Guide to Fasion: I wouldn't recommend this book. I feel like it tried to cover a broad range of subjects, but with quick answers and no real information. It was almost like a book of advertisements (use this razor, these shirts are cool, etc.)

Dressing The Man - Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion: This book was amazing. It covers everything from the evolution of suits from origins to different fads throughout the year. The focus was the basics on how to flatter your frame/face, choosing colors and color schemes etc. I didn't spend time memorizing it the information, but I'd say this covers everything you need to know about "Dress clothes fashion" (my definition not theirs).

Next Tuesday night, I am going with a friend to a Drinking & Drawing class, which seems in theory very similar to the Paint Nite. It's a $10 byob art class, and everyone hangs out, has a few drinks and draws a nude model. I looked online and found what I believe my drawing will look like when done:

I also found a "Bartender Certification course" with Flair bartender training. It's $100 bucks, but it seems pretty awesome, so I'm definitely giving it thought... let me know your thoughts!

Keep sending me messages - I truly enjoy it. Let me know your thoughts, recommendations, and things you think would be good additions to add to the mix! Any comments on how to improve the blog are appreciated and will be considered / worked in. 

Finally My Caffrey Impression. Tie Dimple needs work and shirt sleeves were rolled up at the time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk.

Graduation Speech: I’d like to thank the internet, Google, Wikipedia, Microsoft Word, and Copy & Paste. - Also where I'd like to thank for most of the things I've been learning in this blog

1.) Covert Persuasion - a very interesting book, and I figured the title was very fitting with the blog. The book is geared towards sales people but applicable to every day life. I recommend the book to anyone interested in being more persuasive in their arguments. It ranges from proven psychological concepts to simple wording patterns and university studies on the way arguments are presented. I took notes and will try to start implementing the concepts, but I think I'll need to use it as a reference guide until it becomes more natural.

"Covert Persuasion sounds like a secret operation because it is; when you master these techniques and put them to use, no one will even notice your tactics. But that doesn't mean these techniques are sneaky or underhanded. They aren't! You aren't tricking anyone; you're simply using all your abilities to encourage them to make the choice you want them to make. It's not unfair or underhanded—it's just powerful, practical, and effective."

"Covert Persuasion syn-thesizes the latest research in psychology, linguistics, sales tactics, and human communication to reveal the most effective methods for consistently and effectively persuading anyone of virtually anything."

2.) New Clothes: Okay, so I've been doing some E-bay shopping, making the most out of my $$. I got 5 pairs of jeans (Abercrombie, American Eagle, Express, Ralph Lauren and Sean John), 2 Dress Shirts (Ermenegildo Zegna), 2 Abercrombie Sweatshirts, and 2 Ermenegildo Zegna Sweatervest, all for $138 shipped!



3.) MP3 Courses -For those of you who don't know, there are numerous resources for continuing your education for free that are downloadable to your mp3 player / i-pod. I decided I am going to take advantage of this, download some of the courses onto my i-pod and utilize my commute time to improve myself. You have online courses from some of the top schools (MIT, Yale, etc), as well as topics ranging from Art History to Foreign Languages. is one of the resources (as stated there are many), I think this is one of the greatest concepts, think of how much time is just spent commuting bored in traffic!

Here's the outfit I wore last night. The vest got a little big on me, and until the new pants come in, the current one I have are wayyyy too big, but none the less, my first attempt at an on-going style improvement project:

I may be trying my first Zumba class tonight, which I'm sure will make my next post a good one of the trials and tribulations of my inability to dance! (an understatement)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. —Will Rogers

I found a classes to help aid me through the journey:

1.) Group-on Wine Tasting Class: ($29) - "Studying wine on your own can be tasty, but time-consuming." The class will teach about wine tasting / food pairings. It pretty much defines what I was looking for, though I'm not sure if I will get to the the "expert" level I was hoping for in 2-hours. Should be a fun time none the less. Maybe I'll begin to appreciate the taste of wine (right now I only enjoy Reislings) and will build a nice wine collection lol. I want to learn to appreciate Whiskey's as well, but that will come another day


2.) Paint Nite ($32) - "Booze has definitely led to you expressing yourself -- from tearing up at cheesy, made-for-TV movies to joining conga lines at weddings -- so why not let potent beverages inspire your art?" They are hosting Paint Nite's at some high-end bars in NYC, some boozing and painting sounds like a great time. Sounds like a good time to do my Mad Men Painting.... High end / Hip Bars in NYC usually mean dressing in suit/fancy clothes, but do you so so only to cover with an apron and risk getting paint on them?

3. 4 Salsa Dancing Classes ($39) - Okay, so I haven't bought this one yet. I'm a TERRIBLE dancer, which does have me a bit nervous, but my "logical" side is holding me back because these classes are held in NYC on Monday / Wednesday nights. (Which would make it very tough to get to due to work conflicts.) With that said, it really is what I wanted to do/learn.

4.) Installed Rosetta Stone - Alright my Rosetta Stone in Spanish is installed, though the sound isn't working on my computer (could have something to do with no speakers being hooked up). I actually found out a friend might have the French Rosetta Stone, so I will have to put some consideration into which I want to learn. (I feel like Spanish is more useful but French definitely has my heart and the edge in the Suave arena).

5.) Getting Measured for my suit - okay, I should have done this a while ago, I fully admit it. Will get over to the mall to get my measurements so I can start ordering suits / dress shirts from Ebay. Got a grey version of my fedora as well (pictured below - waiting on it to come in).


Finally, a fun story, So I was at a franchise restaurant/bar that everyone knows on Wednesday grabbing lunch. The waitress was GORGEOUS (contemplating putting up a picture, but blacking out the face). So I flirted mercilessly with her. It was slow (due to the snow storm), so she spent a lot of time hanging out. I hung out and she offered to buy me a drink (unusual for a waitress), so I asked for Rumpleminze. When she came back she stated that just smelling it made her eyes water. So I bet her that I could take it without making a face ... the stakes being her number. I champed the drink, and she smiled and gave me her number. I've been talking to her, and have since found out shes a bit young (19) and I tried to make sure and she said she's "not 100% single" and when I asked what that meant, she said it's complicated. None the less, a valiant effort, and success!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What the H*ll is this all about?

So I've been contemplating creating this blog for a while now, and have finally decided to commit. I figure it will help keep me motivated as well as be interesting for those who read my successes and failures along the way.

About me: I'm a 25 year old guy, who has always been moderately social, successful in my career, done okay with women, had a love for fancy cars (own a muscle car and a porsche). In the past year, I was dumped from a 7+ year relationship, changed jobs (my choosing), lost 100 lbs, and have learned to enjoy being by myself / trying new things. I know how to do magic (card tricks, etc) and don't have stage fright of speaking in front of people, though I want to improve my public speaking. With all that said, I just want to be better and enjoy everything life has to offer. You'll get to see my many tries, probably ridiculous failures, and hopefully see me having fun along the way to improving.

Goal for the Blog: Well the title is pretty self-explanatory, but my goal is to improve myself. To try new things, essentially become like "Neal Caffrey" from White Collar (okay maybe minus the expert con-man/art thief, though I could see trying to con my way into some parties/events lol) Some of the specific goals I have (always open to more suggestions):

-Debonair Style Dress - Everything from 3 piece suits to the Fedora. I really like Neal Caffrey's and Roger Sterling (from Mad Men)'s taste in suits. I will definitely put in a lot more effort to matching and improving the overall look, instead of just tossing on whatever is laying around. I've recently found out that you can get HIGH end suits/shirts/ties etc on Ebay for pennies on the dollar. Looking forward to building my new wardrobe. Even got my first fedora (can even do the Neal Caffrey hat trick)

-Learn to Paint: Why? Because I always wished I could do it. I don't think I'll ever be Picasso, or even be good, but I would like to try a few things so I can discuss it intelligently as well as have something to show off. I've seen a few paint / drinking events on Groupon, which may be the way I go since I don't have a place to paint. I decided I want to do a Mad Men painting first... see the 3 options below:

Learn Another Language: Nothing spells Sauve, Intelligent, and Mysterious like a guy who can speak another language. I think my first choice would be French, but I have a Rosetta Stone for Spanish, so I think that will be the language I'll learn. (Who knows maybe I'll learn more than 1)

Learn to Dance: This will be the most difficult I'm sure. I don't even know where to start. What types of dancing to learn or anything. Maybe start with the free Zumba classes at the gym? (Not sure if you really learn to dance from them, but they can't hurt right?)

Learn to Taste Wine: hmmm ... the bullet point doesn't sound right. In essence, I mean learning how to review/evaluate wine at tastings. Develop a good pallet, learn to tell the difference between good and bad wines etc (can't do so at all now)

Improve Skills with Women: As I said, I'm semi-recently single (okay, so it's been 7 months, but I had a lot to get over). I want to work on approaching women without fear and just being the charming, sophisticated, debonair I always picture myself as.

Learn Zippo Lighter Tricks: I don't even smoke, so not sure why this was something I wanted to put on my list. I just feel like it's cool, and everyone needs a light occasionally.

Public Speaking / Improving Vocabulary: I figure this is a good life skill overall, and a good continuing goal. Toastmasters meets weekly, and I volunteer with an organization that allows me to give speeches.

Learn to Cook: I have a disclaimer that I believe I am an awesome cook already, and a world-class baker. With that said, I want to experiment and try to cook and present my food the way that top restaurants do. Imagine what friends think when they come over for a dinner party and see a 5-star type meal in front of them! And with my new wine tasting skills, I'll even know what to pair with it!

Well that's a start .... Give me ideas and input! What is the first thing you think of when you think of a Debonair?