Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

XMLHTTP and dress shirts

I redesigned the front page of rumored.com, so go check it out. If you’re bookmarked rumored.com/index.html, that won’t work anymore. I won’t bore you with the details – just go to rumored.com and tell me what you think, or if your browser dies a horrific death. The style stuff is not done, and might never be, but I spent forever getting the rollover and image stuff working. It uses Ajax do to the random image thing – I have wanted a simple project that uses Ajax, so there you go. It was still a major pain in the ass to get working. I will eventually get more of the site’s pages reworked, but it’s a slow process. I also want to rewrite my photos page, because it sucks, and I also want an easier way to get all of my photos up and to ditch flickr.

Okay, here’s a question that I’m sure I will not get an answer to. Last year, I went to a Men’s Wearhouse and bought three or four dress shirts. The dude there measured my neck, measured my arms, and said “here’s your shirt”. I tried them on in the store, but it’s possible I was high, or maybe the torture of the place made me say “fuck it, whatever” and throw a credit card at the dude. But the bottom line is that I have these shirts that mostly fit my neck, and the sleeves are about right in length, but the shirt basically looks like what Tom Hanks wore in Big when he shrunk back into a kid. Seriously, the armpits are about down to my waist, and the sleeves hang like they belong on a wizard’s robe.

So today, in a fit of stupidity, I took every single dress shirt I owned, threw them on the bed, and then tried them on, one at a time. I took notes and the fit and general status of each shirt, wrote them on an index card, and stapled them to the hanger. After a few hours, I found that the shirt that fits me the best is from Target, and I bought for like eight dollars. Second place is a shirt from the Gap, which fits me about like those pants MC Hammer used to wear, prior to getting busted by the IRS. In a distant third is a $50 shirt that looks like something you’d wear parachuting.

My first question/thought was to take all of these shirts to a tailor and ask if they could be ripped apart or hemmed or whatever the hell a tailor does. Does that work? I don’t know. I’d be willing to pay like $20 or $30 a shirt to get that done, if only to avoid the next option.

The next option: buying a bunch of shirts from some store that has sizes that fit my disproportionately large neck. Look, this shirt problem is not because I have a giant gut. These shirts fit fine over my almost-giant gut. It’s that the entire shirt industry’s crazy idea that if you measure someone’s neck, you know exactly what the rest of their body is like. And they figure that if I have a 20-inch neck, I have an 87-inch chest. I thought maybe if I went to Saks or Nordstrom or something, I could throw money at them and get an odd-sized shirt. And of course, it’s the absolute worst time of the year to buy any mens’ wear.

So yeah, dicking with XMLHTTP and worrying about dress shirts: it’s been an exciting week. I do have tickets for the Rockies game tomorrow, so that will be interesting. And then we have a huge spate of various family coming in to town, so lots of fun, and I’m sure there will be lots of eating at fancy restaurants.

Oh yeah, speaking of fancy restaurants, we went to this place on Saturday, and I have totally forgotten the name, but it was a Japanese/Mexican fusion place that was absolutely incredible. One of the appetizers was this little sterno grill type thing, but with a stone on it, like one of those black stones you see in a zen fountain you get at Brookstone’s. And it came with kobe beef, little chunks of it, raw, and you threw it on the grill, counted to five (or ten, whatever), and then ate it. Also for my entree, I ordered this Indian tandoori chicken, and it was probably the absolute best Indian food I have ever had, ever. And it was a Japanese/Mexican place. It also had a very cool interior, a huge curved bar with like three bottles of everything ever made that could get you drunk, and we were barraged by staff members asking us if everything was okay or if we needed anything. It cost way too much, but it was good.

And now, lunch.