Sunday, May 5, 2013


My recent 6 days in the San Francisco area, besides being kind to my chocolate-loving palette, was also very good for my wardrobe. There are MANY Goodwill Thrift Stores (and misc other thrift shops) in the Bay Area, and I decided to use my downtime during the days to get to as many of them as possible, scouring the men's racks for vintage suits and maybe a decent summer shirt. I started the trip in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, but came home looking like this:

OK, not the best photo, but my $30 wardrobe included a cotton Kenneth Cole grey with red flower-pattern summer short sleeve shirt (there seemed to be a bit of a summer heatwave that week), a pair of vegan men's dress shoes (I think from Target originally), and an AWESOME lightweight black wool dress jacket with quite a nice lining and a Macy's tag originally listing the price as $495 (it had a pulled thread in the sleeve, and they dropped the price 3 times before they (or someone else) dumped it off to Goodwill, who sold it to me for $10.95). The missing link in this outfit was the slacks; although I have a few pair of black wool dress slacks, I could not really think of one that I knew would match the jacket, and I wanted something lightweight NOW to go with the jacket for the remainder of the trip. The problem was very similar to my search for basses and chocolate - searching for just the right color and texture, in this case to pass for a matched suit.

I first tried the Macy's in San Francisco - I figured that if they sold the jacket, they might have the slacks (or at least know more about the origins of the jacket, which had a MADE IN HONDURAS label, but nothing else). The salesman in the Men's department said that it was in fact a very nice jacket, but it must have been 2-3 years old (therefore whomever bought it at the final markdown price of $149 may have sat on it in the closet, then gave it to Goodwill). Without a designer tag, there was no way to know who made the jacket, and the chances of finding slacks of a similar color and texture were small to non-existent. I was willing to pay $100 or more for matching slacks, but it seems they would be unavailable at any price.

So I walked down the street to the nearest Goodwill in Downtown San Francisco, 5 blocks away, browsed to slacks rack lining up every pair to the jacket I wore to the store, and found a pair of slacks exactly my size that were REALLY close:

Even from the photo (jacket on left, slacks on right) they don't look like a very good match, but in person in sunlight or artificial light they look super close. Plus the slacks are polyester (who would have thought it), which means I can just wash them myself, and they are comfy and lightweight. This story seems even uninteresting to me at this point, but as another exercise in my pursuit of the perfect tone/flavor/texture/etc., it continues building my chops at recognizing such things, and improving my ability to get it right (even if it requires obsessing over it).

NOTE: I was so busy and focused on finding the perfect slack that I didn't even notice that someone had decided to use the dressing room at the Goodwill as a urinal, and I placed my jacket and the slacks on the bench, only to find they were VERY wet. Henceforth the suit will be known as the Piss Suit...

CHOCOLATE: Some other chocolate experiences in the last few days:
Chocolate fortune cookie from the San Francisco Fortune Cookie Company; super fresh, not too sweet, great added hint of sesame seeds, fantastically crisp. A good-sized bag costs $4.75, they make them right there in their tiny Chinatown alley shop.
Really good flourless chocolate cake from Fabulous Cafe in Hollywood (a decent local Italian restaurant where we had our wedding reception). I had been looking forward to this cake for my birthday in late April; ended up out of town, but went back there a couple of night ago for a small meal and the cake, which seems to have changed. It used to be denser, but it was still delicious, and no flour means more chocolate!

Trader Joes dark chocolate covered Butterscotch Salted Caramels: better than I expected, but a bit too sweet (because of the caramel, which I can do without). Seen here in a vintage Michelin Bibendum porcelain ashtray, where he invites you to enjoy his salty balls!

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