Monday, December 23, 2013

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Brian Williams knots up a tie of brilliant cardinal red with sky blue stripes for our viewing pleasure.  Cara was breathless as Father Christmas (really, Uncle Morris) pulled the largest box from under the tree.  Finally!  She would finally be able to discover who this huge gift was for!  Her heart pounded as he turned and gave it to her.  Could it really be hers?  Her fingers flew to unwrap it, remembering always Mamma's admonitions to be ladylike even though she wanted to tear into it like a beast.  She opened the lid, pushed aside the gossamer papers, and lifted out what seemed like miles and miles of plush red velvet.  It was a cape, a gorgeous, beautiful cape with a hood.  Suddenly, a glimpse of baby blue satin--the lining.  Cara could have wept.  "It is only for buggy riding and walking on fairer days," Mamma said.  "Velvet is not practical, for it is difficult to clean.  But every girl should have something lovely and a little impractical."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On Pink

This cravat is a classic for Brian.  He has been wearing it for years and years, and while I like it just fine, I am tired of seeing it worn to the exclusion of many other lovely ties he wears much less frequently.  The main colour is a deep midnight blue, and the slim stripes are pale pink--not a warm, baby pink--a blue-toned carnation pink, widely spaced.  I immediately applaud men in pink, no matter how scant its appearance.  More men ought to wear it, and more often.  Here we are, in a whole new millennium, and so many people still see pink as a "Girl's Colour."  How utterly ridiculous.  Women wear blue with impunity.  Shall we all just get over it?  Let's do, and quickly.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Too Soon

Have we seen this tie before, Readers?  I cannot recall it.  In any case, it's purple and white checkered presence was a little Springlike to me.  It looked more suited to a tablecloth in a vegan restaurant, or napkins in a winery bistro, or even, perhaps, lovely cushions for your white wicker porch furniture.  A dark suit cannot ground this tie; it is too buoyant and light.  December's cold and dim days make it seem terribly out of place.  Better to lay it safely away until at least April or May when the clouds are wispy and lacy, and the air is warming a few green things.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Schooner

Tonight's cravat is suitcoat navy with steep diagonals of forest green.  He looked in the rearview mirror and smiled.  The kids were leaned way over sideways, looking at the Christmas tree on top of the car, through the sunroof.  If they hadn't been firmly belted into their carseats, they'd be lying down, he knew.  The sky was quickly accumulating dark grey clouds, and the deep blue was fast turning dark.  Soon it would be snowing.  In the meantime, though, Jasper and Hannah could watch their evergreen sail through an ocean of sky, cutting the depths and speeding toward the horizon.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Villainous Tie

This tie gives me a headache.  Its purple dots are so minuscule and shiny, and its field colour is so changeable (is it grey? taupe? lavender? graupender?) and opalescent that at times it appears to be moving and buzzing.  The cleft of its dimple is unhelpful; it merely creates a shadowy ravine for the dancing pattern to encircle and descend into and up from.  Now look--it's made me end a sentence with two prepositions.  Horrific thing.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Maybe Bri Is Jet-Lagged, And He Grabbed The First Tie Off The Donation Box In The Hallway

SPT.  Purlap tie.  And wow; that big cavernous dimple is sorta freaking us out.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Brian Williams is still in South Africa, reporting on the death of Nelson Mandela.  He wears a charcoal grey tie striped with bright yellow diagonals.  There had not been a car or truck or motorcycle or any sort of vehicle whatsoever down the road in hours.  He wasn't all that surprised; it was, after all, a tiny country with only a relative few vehicles anyhow.  Add to that the late hour, and he knew he had to find a spot to spend the night.  "Poor planning, poor execution," he said out loud to no one but himself, just to hear the sound of something in the darkness.  He veered away from the roadside into a cleared area where a beaten-down shack leaned.  It was useless to try to gather anything for a fire.  It was already warm, and there wasn't anything around to burn.  He chuckled when he thought of the three boxes of matches in his backpack. "What for?" he said aloud.  "What for?"  He took out a box, slid it open, and grabbed a match.  He struck it expertly on the side of the box and a flame jumped to life.  Holding the match, he watched it glow yellow and burn down to his fingers, fascinated.  He took out another and did the same thing, then another and another, watching them all burn bright in the deep dark night.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Small Delight

Oh, we do love this striped tie of mahogany and gold shot through with tiny threads.  She was blind now, but it was impossible to tell.  She knew the interior of her home so well that she navigated it expertly, even without a cane.  Her appetite was scant, and there was little left of her but her brown skin stretched over old bones, taut and smooth.  Guests delighted but tired her, so he was careful to stay only a little while.  This time, he brought her a pound of her favourite chocolates in a box.  She was confused at first and, lifting it to her nose, suddenly smiled in recognition and joy.  Quickly lifting the lid, her fingers then prowled among the candies until they found one wrapped in golden foil.  It was swiftly unwrapped, popped in the mouth, and her face showed deep satisfaction.  After a profound sigh of contentment, she smiled.  "You," she told him pointedly, "can come anytime."

Thursday, December 5, 2013

You'll Never Guess What I Saw

As usual there are stripes tonight, but this tie is a rarity for its mossy green diagonals partnered with navy.  Green is an uncommon sight in a Brian Williams cravat, like a peacock on the roadside, or a cheeseburger at a cocktail party.  Certainly it could happen, and perhaps once or twice it has, but it is still occasion enough to cause comment.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An Evening At The Embers

Impeccably knotted, tonight's cravat is a silky stripe of rich cream and smoky navy stripes.  He sat in the shadowy booth alone and watched her at the bar.  Her posture on the stool was somehow studied and casual at the same time.  She was drinking White Russians and her motion was balletic; the way she lifted the glass, tilted it to take a sip, moved the straw aside with one finger, and set it down without a sound.  Every so often she would pull her long, dark hair back and to one side with a quick, mystifying gesture involving her hand, only a couple of fingers, and a beautiful turn of her wrist ending with a brief moment in which she looked like she was going to beckon him to come to her.  But no; instead she would drop it to her bodice or her hip, smooth her blue silk sheath, and thoughtfully take another sip.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's So Purple, So Very, Very Purple


Monday, December 2, 2013

In Her Element

We're back from our petite vacance and ready again to report, this time on Bri's cravat of faded denim with smudgy polka dots of campfire ash.  She sighed when she saw the next stop on her list.  She didn't dread seeing Maggie, but it tugged at her in the most distressing way.  Maggie's tiny apartment was cramped and full of dust and junk.  It reeked viciously of the unfiltered cigarettes she smoked, and every surface had either burn marks, small logs of ash where a cigarette had been left to burn, or a grey smudge where she had ground one out.  She answered the door with a brilliant smile, always wearing the same enormous pair of Wrangler overalls and a sweatshirt with puffy painted cardinals underneath.  Taking the styrofoam container, she would say thank you effusively, add a few God Bless Yous, and disappear back into her disarray.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


This evening's neckwear choice is a cravat with wide stripes of smoky dress navy and bright lilac.  Muffled strains of jazz music lured passers-by in from the rain slicked street.  Now and then the door would swing open and a patron would slide out and so would the music, cool and warm at the same time, hot riffs of piano topped off by stone cold bass, chunking out the notes like a bullfrog.  A few neon signs made bright puddles as she put on her lipstick in the streetlight's glow, and it seemed like the music was purple, then blue, then red, white, purple, blue, and they went in to a saxophone's wail.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Despite The Debate, I Just Don't Like It

SPT.  The argument between Sam and me regarding this tie is ongoing.  He says it is a pindot pattern.  I say it looks horrifyingly like purple burlap.  Either way, it's terrible. And purple.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Roadside Stop

Tonight, Brian finds his way back to the distressed blue silk tie with charcoal polka dots.  Her GPS cord, frayed and spiky with bare wires, had finally given up.  Even though she'd never read a map in her life, she rummaged through the glove compartment of her car, praying one would magically there, like there always was in her dad's Fords.  Resigned, she stopped at the next gas station, which out here, looked like a cabin or a very small hunting lodge.  Inside, the men were covered in denim and grease.  Most of them had a cigarette hanging from one corner of their mouth, and all of them looked at her interestedly.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


It has been a while since we've seen this particular cravat of charcoal grey with barely discernible ash-coloured medallions, a classic foulard pattern.  Sometime in the depth of night, she awoke, freezing and aware of a dull pain in her back and legs.  Her mind felt furred and disconnected, like she was floating up from a drug-induced sleep.  A long glow of white light appeared suddenly, and she instinctively raised her hand to shield her eyes.  A massive bolt of pain rocketed up her spine; she gasped, and slipped away again, but not before she saw the frost.  It was frost, in beautiful patterns blooming against the dark window half-buried in the snow.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Frivolous Is Not In His Lexicon

For his offering this evening, Brian ties on a cravat of deep navy with widely spaced stripes of true red snugged by white on either side.  It would have been cliché to have worn this Patriotic Tie yesterday, on Election Day.  As is his habit, Brian Williams wears it the day after instead, so as not to be cutesy or flip.  The News is a Serious Business, and as the Trusted Voice Of Our Nation's Ever-Changing Scene, he cannot afford to be viewed as either.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Private Symphony

Brian Williams chooses the violet textured silk cravat sprinkled with small white dots.  She wakened every morning at exactly eight even though there really was no reason to.  No alarm urged her out of bed; no employment awaited her.  She didn't even have a dog or cat awaiting a rush of kibble into its dish.  But she liked to be part of a routine, a cog in a bustling movement of Life.  She pulled on her robe and slid her feet into slippers.  In the bathroom, once she accomplished her own few necessaries, she filled a small watering can.  She walked back out into her room and greeted her charges, a lush row of African violets, velvety and beautiful.  "Good Morning, lovelies," she crooned to each purple and white-throated bloom.  After a careful watering, she gently daubed away any beads of water from every solitary leaf on which they stood.  She pressed a button on the CD player, and out flowed Rachmaninoff, softly, as she conducted, perfectly.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Vive Le Difference

Tonight's tie is so similar to last night's that, if you only took a cursory glance at your television, you would be aghast, thinking Brian Williams had worn it two nights in a row.  This one, however, is suitcoat navy with light blue stripes.  Completely different!  It's like rotini instead of fusilli; Hagen Dasz instead of Ben & Jerry's; lilac instead of lavender.  Totally, entirely, thoroughly, and altogether different.  Like night and day.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Can I Order Off The Menu?

Straight from The Ward Cleaver Collection: Formal Wear, Brian knots up the suitcoat navy tie with creamy white stripes.  It's a perfectly fine, serviceable tie, absolutely appropriate in virtually every tie-wearing situation.  There is nothing wrong with it.  No one at the wedding will lean over to her seatmate in the pew and whisper, eyebrows raised, anything about it in mock outrage.  Great-Aunt Selma won't close her eyes and shake her head, frowning slightly, as she sits shiva next to it.  Even Tim Gunn wouldn't object to it with a grey shawl collar half-zip, dark wash jeans, and navy or charcoal pinstriped shirt for a casual look.  But I'd like to see something else, please.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

As Serious As A Fake Heart Attack

Yippee!  No stripes today!  Instead, BriWi has chosen to preview Halloween by donning his Circus Fun Tie, the tomato red one with white polka dots the size of a pencil eraser tip.  After The Nightly, he'll swing around on his swivel chair, revealing his enormous yellow shoes and go clomping off set to finish getting ready for the photo shoot.  Once he pulls on a curly orange wig, bright lime-green jacket (two sizes too short), and purple balloon-style pants, the only thing left is the requisite round, red nose.  Oh, that Brian!  And here we thought The News was nothing to joke about!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Il Est...

sans cravate ce soir.  Opting for the outdoorsy and rugged look, Brian instead wears the layered look, somewhat sacrificing fashion with an olive drab, shapeless flak jackety sort of thing as he reports live from New Jersey.  We are grateful, however, that it was not a cliché North Face or peacoat.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Machine

BriWi's tie this evening is the sedate and snappy suitcoat navy and milk white stripe.  Monday mornings were the worst, he thought, as he stuffed brown bags and lunchboxes into backpacks.  Re-entry Day.  The day when The Machine revved back into life.  It always felt like they had fifty kids instead of just four.  He stood at the counter and slopped half-and-half into his coffee while he stood guard over breakfast, constantly checking his wristwatch.  His wife flitted like a bird from child to child, squirting syrup, doling napkins, pouring juice.  They both had a train to catch; they both had meetings; they both were "suits."  They both had wanted a career and a family, and now they both wondered why.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

But First, A Word From Our Sponsors

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Tonight in Stripes.  We're pleased to have you join us.  This evening, Phil is taking you on safari to meet up with the rare and wonderful Bengal tigers at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.  We'll be going on the road with Pilar, literally, as we join up with a highway crew whose job it is to paint those white and yellow lines on our streets and thoroughfares.  And, finally, we'll be sitting down with the one man who has probably done more for the stripe than anyone in the news business, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.  His striped ties, like the silk cabernet franc with white piping pinstripes that he wore tonight, have become legend in the fashion world.  Won't you stay tuned?  We'll be right back after these few messages."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So Over Them

Stripes, stripes, stripes.  Let's call tonight's tie what it is and be done with it.  Lilac and deep, dark blue.  No waxing poetic about mystics and moonlight on wisteria.  No comparisons to funeral bouquets and veiled widows.  This endless string of stripes has me stupefied and stubborn.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Does Flava Flav Have This Tie?

STP.  Neck Bling.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Last Vacation

We are back from our vacance just in time to see tonight's broadcast, for which Brian Williams has decided to wear a pleasantly breezy cravat of lapis and cloud white.  It is nautical and almost summery, as if we are standing at the rail and waving goodbye in the sunshine as the waves churn beneath us.  We feel the warmth of the rays on our shoulders, and the cool sea air as it lifts not only our hair, but our spirits.  The only tension we feel is that small thrill of expectation, of adventure as we sail off on a trip to a place we've never been before, or perhaps one we love returning to year after year.  It's one last wave from the dock from our friends seeing us off, and then we leave our real lives behind.

Friday, October 11, 2013

See Brian.

A man went into a store.  "I need a tie," he said.  "The ties are over there," said a clerk.  The man went where the clerk said.  He looked at the ties.  He got a blue one.  He went to the cashier and paid for it.  He wore the blue tie on TV.  The end.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

There's No Place For It

Oh, bother.  I really do dislike this tie.  The fabric looks cheap; the field color is blue-violet, but not a nice blue-violet, more like the kind which was once blue or once violet, but now has faded into taking on the cast of the other due to age, exposure to sun, or just poor fabric quality (see beginning of sentence).  The stripes are very narrow and a garishly vivid (or vividly garish) fuchsia or electric raspberry.  They simply look odd next to such a somber color, like Prince Philip with a mohawk or Henry Kissinger wearing a tutu.  Not nice and just wrong altogether.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Brian Williams knots up a striper of ebony and lilac for this evening's newscast.  "Where is she?" her husband hissed, jaw clenched, as they introduced him.  He left the wings and walked out onstage, waving and smiling in the spotlight.  During his speech, she got on her cellphone again, trying to reach their daughter.  "Mailbox full," the recording told her unhelpfully.  Moments later, there she was, but...what on earth had she done?  "Like it?" her daughter said, running her hands through her short, choppy hair.  "I know it's a little...edgy.  But I was ready for something different.  So I told her, yeah, go ahead and go for it.  That's when she dyed it black and added the purple streak.  Awesome, right?"  As the candidate turned to welcome his family to the stage, they held hands and stepped out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tieku 2

Midnight and white stripes:
Cool, classy, yet so played out.
Remember...Pink Tie?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Make It Stop

SPT.  This tie looks like it belongs in Vegas. On Beyoncé. Or something. Yikes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Have Mercy

SPT.  Purlap tie getting a helluva workout.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Art

Tonight, Brian falls back on a favourite cravat, a smoky denim blue with muted charcoal polka dots.  Each time she came by his easel, he felt a ridiculous thrill.  I'm old enough to be her father, he admonished himself.  Maybe her grandfather.  But she was lovely, even in her old blue smock and with smudges of charcoal on her fingers and, disarmingly, the bridge of her nose.  Her curls were in constant motion as she illustrated a technique on his practice pad; her wrists looked delicate and fine.  And she was cheery and upbeat.  He liked that.  She smiled at everyone and all the time.  No fool like an old fool, he reminded himself, but he was just taking an art class for his therapy.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Brian Is Always Thinking Of Us

Ho hum, Brian Williams.  Perhaps you decided to wear such a soporific cravat this evening to be a Calming Influence during these Turbulent Times. A navy blue tie with slim white stripes is not exciting.  It is not shocking.  It is not even the least bit inspiring.  It is...oh, don't make me say it.  Ah, but I must--"boring."  Were it up to me, I would vote against a Continuing Resolution extending the life of this tie.  I would have to propose legislation to defund this tie and so many others.  But I would never hold The Nightly hostage in order to do so. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Someone Needs To Give The Tie Storage Facility A Good Going-Over

SPT.  That purply burlap thing again. Urk.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Command Performance

Brian Williams knots up another striped tie, this one a smooth silk of bootblack and white.  It was dreadful, having to attend these Command Performances simply because his wife was a Somebody.  Not one of his friends owned a tux.  Just him.  This cocktail party was going to be hell, and he knew it the minute the butler opened the door.  The whole house was a sea of white.  White floors, white drapes, white furniture.  They even had a white dog, a yappy little thing with a rhinestone collar.  Wait--check that.  These people had a lot of money.  A lot.  Fido's collar was probably diamonds.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Alas, This Tie Is Still With Us

Dogpatch Designer Challenge Tie. (Added immediately upon first viewing on 16 January 2012.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pretty And Sweet

Brian Williams employs The Save on Friday by knotting up a tie of soft, muted orange dotted with charcoal medallions, each centred with ivory.  She was fascinated by the market, the stands busy with customers burdened by shopping bags full of artisan loaves, fresh produce, knobby packages of cheeses and meats, and here and there, a huge can of olive oil.  Stopping by one fruit stand, she was hailed by its proprietor.  "Pretty lady!  Pretty lady!  You try this.  Sweet. Sweet."  Amazed, she watched as his long knife expertly carved a cantaloupe, then handed her a chunk aloft on its tip.  She smiled and carefully took it.  The melon juice trickled down her chin.  It was sweet.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Telling It Straight

It's getting so that I actually fear this tie, this cranberry thing with turquoise medallions that interlock in some Byzantine fashion rendering it a decent facsimile for a strange sort of plastique stained-glass window thingy that your Aunt Sylvia might buy you for Christmas from a dollar store "just so you have something to open."  I don't know why I have such a viscerally negative reaction to this particular cravat.  Brian has had it at least since I began doing The Report back in 2007, and I have never felt good about it.  That's the way it goes sometimes; I can't apologize for it, so I won't.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quelle Horreure!

SPT.  Goodness, but this was a Disaster.  Teensy tight knot, scary burlap-looking material, ugh.  Even if this actually was not Solid Purple, it read that way on camera, and it was dreadful all round.  Something like this, you simply cannot unsee.  It was almost...Chuck Todd-worthy.  Horrors.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So Collegiate

This evening's stripe is from The Ward Cleaver Collection.  Dusky dark navy is livened up with rich scarlet diagonals, giving this tie a sort of University look.  It's the kind of tie that almost begs for a cardigan, one with an oversize argyle design, and some sort of casual academic setting.  Will there be wide-wale corduroy pants, chinos, or very dark designer jeans?  One of them, certainly.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Though We Gotta Say Goodbye For The Summer

The Report is back from our own hiatus, just in time for Brian's Monday Stripe.  Tonight's offering is a soft, satiny hyacinth blue with broad yellow diagonals.  It's as if Bri knows that Autumn is just around the corner this week, and he signals the end of Summer in a blaze of glory.  This cravat is all about the brilliantly blue skies of July and August, the heavy nodding heads of sunflowers before they shed their golden petals and relinquish their seed.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Certainly Not An Adam Sandler

As if hearing our collective frustration, Brian gives the stripes a rest and dons a different tie this evening, the soft denim blue with charcoal polka dots.  This cravat reminds me of the comedian Stephen Wright.  It's lighthearted, but in a somber, serious sort of way.  It's not slapstick and silly and sophomoric and jokey.  It's thoughtfully and cerebrally and intelligently witty. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Last Words

Brian makes us reflect on Why We Missed Him tonight as he has knotted up another in his series of Striped Ties.  This one is brilliant white and midnight sky.  She was barely able to see the stairs, let alone find a safe way up them.  How did he let it get this bad?  As she made her way up, she moved piles and piles of books and magazines and newspapers out of her way.  If it was words, her father had kept them.  She squirmed her way through a small, packed doorway and suddenly, the room opened up before her.  It was astonishingly empty.  The walls were...grey?  No.  As she looked more closely, she saw that the walls, once white, were now filled with her father's small, tight writing.  Every spare inch was covered in words.  Her eyes blurred; this was it, his final opus.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Not This Time, Boys

Brian wraps up his Comeback Week wearing a tie of suitcoat navy with moderately slim stripes of periwinkle.  The last item on their agenda was merely a formality, and not one of the men in the room expected the person to even show up.  Several of them had already turned off their tablets, buttoned their jackets, grabbed a last pastry to take back to their office.  Suddenly, the door opened.  Most of them only saw heels and a pastel blue power suit, but one of them saw her face.  It was not the scared and tearful face they had double-talked out of their offices a year ago.  This woman was steel-eyed and confident; she had the look of a predator who smelled blood, who was hungry, even lustful for it, and who was coming in with no other idea than to win, no matter what the cost.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Very Chipper Tie

Looking everso well-rested and perky, BriWi knots up the textured purple silk arrayed with creamy white polka dots for this evening's broadcast.  It's a very chipper tie.  This cravat is like sunshine on your day off.  It's watching a little girl twirling around in a new party dress, and the face of a young boy entering a big league stadium with his dad for a game.  This tie is rope-skipping, snow cones, shoe sales, and getaway weekends, all smiles and satisfied sighs.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Firmly ensconced behind his newsdesk, Brian Williams is sporting his narrowly striped cravat of textured dark turquoise and silvery grey-blue.  She padded down the steps in her thick socks at sunrise, her breath making small vapours in the chilly cabin.  Flipping on the coffee maker, she drew open the blinds on the vast sliders to capture the eastern view of the mountainside.  The spruces were ethereal, shrouded in fog, and they stood like sentinels over the still, deep lake.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Brian Williams Is Back, And We Announce The Winning Tie

Welcome back to The Nightly, Brian Williams!  The Report has missed you.  Winging its way to you is the Winning Tie, supplied by and voted in by your fans and Report readers, this lovely paisley creation.
Now, on to The Report.
Tonight's Homecoming Cravat is an arresting striper of royal blue and pure white.  It is both snappy and lovely, like a Marine in dress blues and his bride in flowing and feathery chiffon.  It's like a brisk September sky of blazing azure with lacy fleeces of clouds.  It's a bright blue bowl of vanilla ice cream with puffs of whipped cream, fluffy and airy and awaiting the spoon.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Brian Goes In For Repairs

More important than his tie tonight (another outing for the orange, navy and cream stripe) was Brian's announcement that he is leaving for knee replacement surgery.  Certainly we here at The Report wish him Our Very Best. 

In his absence the very capable and very dashingly dapper Lester Holt will fill the chair at The Nightly.  We are still conferring as to whether or not we will report on his neckwear due to the lengthy absence of BW.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Agony

The Stripe of the night is vivid lilac and midnight blue.  She opened her eyes slowly and tried to focus.  Immediately a sharp pain cut into her temple and flared into a purple bloom of agony behind her eye.  She turned on her side and fumbled for the nightstand drawer.  A wave of nausea broke over her; her arm dropped uselessly and hung there, clammy and cool.  Another stab of pain, this one deep indigo and intense.  She made one more valiant grab for the drawer before the white pain came and oblivion.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Gift

Placating us, Brian wears the richly textured mahogany silk cravat with coral coloured petit points.  She stared at the heavy burled oak dresser and crib with dismay.  "They're family heirlooms worth thousands," her husband said.  "They mean it to be a very loving and important gift for the baby."  Later, she found fluffy sheer fabric with multicolored polkadots.  She made billowing curtains, valances, a dust ruffle for the crib, and a half-ruffle for the dresser, which would be doubling as a changing table with a custom-made pad on top. The effect was lovely.  The warm finish of the oak grounded the room and made it feel safe and strong.  She thought of her husband and smiled.

Monday, July 29, 2013

For The Man Who Has Everything!

I wish Brian Williams' tie had some quality by which I could recommend it; alas, it does not.  The fabric appears cheap, like dime store sateen, and the vivid stripes are best described as Hunter's Orange.  Even the background colour is a rather blinky navy blue, like one would find as part of a dollar store dolly's sailor outfit, made in Taiwan or Bangladesh or China or someplace.  On the whole, this tie comes across as something one might find in a conglomerate gift given by one's goofy aunt who is prone to shop at warehouse closeouts, yard sales, flea markets, and from television channels like ShopTV.  Perhaps she saw something called The Businessman's Bucket, a plastic receptacle with a solar calculator, a faux leather phone case, a plastic "marbleized" pen and pencil set, this tie, and a microsuede address book.  Just the thing!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Party

Could tonight's tie be any lovelier?  Lilting, slim stripes of lilac and creamy white look summery and light.  She laughed as he led her, hands over her eyes, into the small park near the old store.  A few more steps, then they stopped; he brought his mouth close to her ear and said softly, "Happy birthday to your inner child."  He took his hands away, and she was able to see the astonishing tableau before her.  The trees were hung with pastel streamers and white fairy lights.  A picnic table in the centre, covered in a rainbow cloth, held goblets of candy which surrounded a multi-tiered cake.  In a strange procession, balloons began to emerge from the surrounding bushes and trees; they were carried by her family and friends.  She clapped her hands in delight, her eyes filling with tears.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Un Interlude Avec L'Histoire

Monsieur Williams has decided to reprise some summery cravats after all.  This is one of my favourites, a cravat of broad carnation pink and midnight sky stripes.  He thought it was impossible, but it was true.  Here, on a quaint avenue in Paris, he found her--quite by accident--yet here she was.  The shop had the requisite French pink and black striped awnings, and the sign "Le Studio Ste. Jeanne" was modestly displayed.  Through the window he watched her as she meticulously added embellishments to one of her creations, a black straw fedora, as its owner waited.  Her hands were gentle and quick, and loose tendrils of hair were pushed back into her haphazard French twist.  She was as beautiful as ever, as beautiful as he had left her, and he stood and watched in rapt fascination.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How Easily We Are Pleased These Days

BriWi really reached into the depths of his Tie Armoire for this evening's cravat.  It has been ages since he knotted up this raspberry silk with sky and turquoise medallion pattern.  In the past I've likened it to Lillian Vernon vinyl stained-glass window covering by-the-roll, Greg Brady's "groovy pad" light display, and all manner of wacky stuff.  Tonight I'm just thrilled to see something other than Stripes.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Artist

Tonight's tie is a lovely sky blue crossed with stripes of cloud white and a narrower band of anthracite.  He jumped down from the back of the truck, waved his thanks to the driver, and began walking off into the brush.  It was early morning, but the sun was brilliant and warm.  He readied his camera and began snapping off shots of the rocks, the road, the clouds, all three, or two at a time in varying combinations.  He walked on, sometimes backward, but all the while clicking off pictures.  It might be an hour--or two or three--before another truck came down this stretch to give him a ride.  Until then, he'd walk and shoot.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Other Side

Tonight's cravat is a striper of deep lilac and nightsky.  Down a darkened corridor and into a shadowy, candlelit anteroom she followed her wordless guide.  Seated on a shabby settee, she waited patiently for one of the curtained portals to open.  It was immaterial which spiritualist she consulted with.  All that mattered was that she made contact.  In a few minutes, the purple satin draperies directly across from her were drawn to the side.  A gloved hand beckoned her in.  Tears of gratitude began to well in her eyes.  She moved swiftly into the small, dim room, and the portal sighed shut.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Conspiracy At The Manor House

Wide stripes of pumpkin and somber navy comprise this evening's cravat.  "And what may I get the little miss for her luncheon?" asked the footman, bowing low before the curly, redheaded mite perched at table.  "Oh, Rolph," she sighed dramatically, "luncheon is dretful!  Mayn't I have strawberries an' ice cream only?  No san'wich?  Please?  Oh, so pretty please?"  He laid a gloved hand upon her coppery head, smiled, and winked at her.  "I think we shall find something pleasant in Cook's kitchen.  You may leave it to me."

Monday, July 8, 2013

It Takes Your Breath And It'll Leave You Blind

SPT.  And one that looks as if it were made from the leotard of a roller-blader in the finale of an off-off-Broadway performance of Xanadu.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


This evening's cravat is the textured narrow striper of pewtered blue and dark turquoise.  All the days seemed the same to her; indeed, they were.  She kept the curtains drawn in all the rooms, she rarely ventured out of bed, and she ignored the phone.  Her headache was a constant companion, for she rarely ate but often cried.  Sometimes the sobs were soft and mostly tears.  Other times she gave in to the grief entirely, and huge wails wracked her body and her soul.  She moaned her loss and sank into her darkness so completely that she could see nothing of herself, nothing of who she was, and nothing of who she would ever be without them.

Monday, July 1, 2013

In Which We Are Grateful For, Perhaps, A Lint Roller

Brian has returned from a few more days off, and rather than be bothered by selecting a new tie from his armoire or closet or dresser, he grabs one off the floor, recently worn.  It is the deep blue and creamy white stripe from 25 June.  Certain I would see a few dog hairs clinging to it, I walked to my television set and peered critically at it during a tight shot, my Dollar Store reading glasses held tight to the bridge of my nose.  Nope.  None.  At least he did us that favour. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Oh no, Brian Williams.  No.  This tie...this garish...thing.  Upon first glance it appears to be a minuscule pattern of vivid red-violet and ash-coloured houndstooth, shimmering and glimmering like some sort of mercurial, Dali-esque disco ball.  But on closer inspection, one can discern that this is a trick of the fabric.  This is, in fact, a Solid Purple Tie!  It is only the contrasting basketweave of the cloth that causes this trompe l'oeil.  After all that, after all is said and done, whether it be SP or teeny-tiny checks, nothing can save this disturbing cravat.  It is, in a word, gauche.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Clash

This evening's cravat is the posh-looking one of midnight with both slender and pinbone metallic gold stripes.  Her shop was dark when he dropped by an hour before closing time, which was odd.  Looking more carefully, he saw the big light in the back room blazing away.  He sent her a text to let her know he was outside, and soon he heard her scurrying to the door to let him in.  "I'm working on my outfit for the benefit Saturday," she said.  "I have just about two hours of finishing left."  He followed her back to see a black fitted suit with cigarette-leg pants.  The jacket was a dramatic cutaway, its bottom a peplum that flowed almost floor-length in the back.  To this suit she had begun applying thin herringbone chains of faux gold along the seams and the hem of the peplum.  His face fell.  Why could she never wear a simple evening dress?  Perhaps this was just not working after all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Lovely Surprise

Brian is back from une grande vacance, yet I am uninspired by his neckwear to date.  Tonight he chooses yet again from his stable of tried and true striped ties which are perfectly fine, but wholly lacking in imagination and freshness.  This time it is the deep royal blue and creamy white striper.  She had chosen a pretty sundress of white eyelet cotton for their Surprise Date.  What do you wear for something like that? she wondered.  She knew she could take her cue from whatever he was wearing when he showed up at her door.  And when he did, and she saw a sportcoat and French jeans, she knew it was going to be lovely...and special...and perfect.  She lifted her light wrap from the back of the chair and danced out the door.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

No Big Deal

Tonight Bri ties on an innocuous cravat of brilliant blue with pairs of slender cherry stripes at wide intervals.  Despite its vivid colour, it is a pedestrian tie.  It's like when your teacher, who has been wearing a uniform of grey, black, and khaki all semester suddenly breaks out with a fuchsia sweater.  "You look nice today, Miss Penfair," you say.  But it's still Miss Penfair, and you still get out a half-sheet of paper and a pen or pencil for the daily bell quiz.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Making A Break

Brian returns from his vacation sporting a tie well known to Report readers.  This deep navy cravat with slim stripes of blush pink has been around for quite some time.  It had been a terrible night.  Most of the wedding party was drunk, disorderly--completely out of control.  He alone was sober.  He and the flower girl.  And she was his concern now.  She was sleepy and little and both of them had had enough.  He lifted her from her seat at the table where she had been sitting, her head down on a little pad of napkins.  "Let's go, Betsey," he said.  She looked relieved, exhausted, and ready.  Laying her fevered cheek against his shoulder, she closed her eyes and slept as he carried her out to the limo.  "We're leaving," he told the stunned driver.  "Come back for the rest later."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

While BriWi's Away, The Report Doth Play

Sadly, I noticed the Preponderance Of Purple immediately.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Destiny Averted

Oh, Brian Williams.  How I wish this tie would have a Terrible Accident.  I feel like it's just not Your Style.  Those bright blue and white micro-checks, little medallions of pink blobby thingamajigs...I've developed such antipathy toward it.  This fabric is not Brian Williams Tie Worthy.  Its destiny was to be a tablecloth in a homestyle food diner called The Robin.  Or perhaps it was to be little café curtains in a place that serves Southern Style Comfort Food Like Mama Used To Make.  Maybe it was supposed to be a frilly bib-apron uniform in a chain restaurant that has franchises all over the country's toll roads.  A countrified place where the food is stick-to-your-ribs fare, and the waitresses all call you "hon."  That is what this tie was meant to be, not an accoutrement around the neck of America's Most Trusted News Source.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Renaissance Man

One of his more sophisticated and sedate stripers is the choice of Brian Williams tonight.  The plum is dusky and somber, and the stripes are soft charcoal.  She sat on the back steps of the cabin and watched him spread out the coals in the grill.  He did all outdoorsy things well, and he looked at home up here on the mountain.  She refilled her wineglass and asked again if there was anything she should be doing.  He shook his head and took out a huge slab of sinister-looking meat.  As he laid it on the grill, she asked what it was.  "Venison," he said.  "Shot it myself.  This is marinated in some dry red wine, garlic, balsamic, olive oil, and shallots.  You'll like it, I promise." 

Monday, June 3, 2013


This evening Brian wears a cravat of creamy white and ink blue.  She sighed and tore the top off her container of low fat yoghurt.  Who were these people who said that grabbing a cup of yoghurt when you craved ice cream was a good idea?  Because it wasn't.  It wasn't at all.  Moodily, she dipped her spoon into the swirls of blueberry fruit, staring at the mixture.  She had been overweight her whole life.  Her whole life!  It was the first thing she thought of in the morning and the last thing she thought of at night and it shadowed every single thought in between.  She would rather have cancer.  At least people would care and try to understand.  And with cancer, she'd finally lose weight.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's All Relative

As The Report tries to shake itself from l'ennui caused by Brian wearing the same ties over again, May is ending with no truly remarkable cravats.  Le sigh. Tonight, Bri slings on a cerulean and orchid stripe that is summery and vivid.  This is not the blurring and perplexing silk tie that irritates and nauseates us with its Dali-esque proclivities.  Instead, this one behaves neatly and nicely, like the British cousin who comes to stay for a month and says things like "tidy up" and "shall" and "luncheon."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy Fathers Day, Nightly Viewers!

BriWi's tie tonight is deep blue with screaming yellow stripes.  Not quite Highlighter Yellow, but shockingly close.  It is the sort of Happy Sunshine Yellow that could make this tie the favourite of preschoolers everywhere.  One can imagine a Mommy taking Sweet Baby Precious in the Urban Assault Stroller to Kohl's, the suburban shopping mecca, for a Fathers Day present.  She says, "What tie do you like for Daddy?"  Captivated by its brazen and ostentatious yellowness, SBP says endearingly and stickily, "Lello lello lello!", and this tie is grabbed and smilingly purchased.  Sigh.  And we are the collateral recipients.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Quelle Dommage

Tonight, reporting from the ravages of Oklahoma, Brian is sans cravate.  Constant Readers of The Report know that this means he is avec une grande chemise bleu.  Why could he not take a cue from the very fit and extremely fitted Lester Holt, whose shirt was simply parfait?  Ah, well.  Le sigh. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Solid dark blue tie!
You are a surrender, a
Shrug, Indifference.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Serious Business

Behind the desk tonight, Brian wears a tie of narrow stripes alternating textured worsted wool grey and stormy blue.  He dreaded these stuffy, awful meetings.  Once they were mercifully over, he never knew what, if anything was accomplished.  It was like a funeral for Time.  And Language.  Everyone sat there, wearing subdued, somber suits and talking in measured, serious tones about...what? Even the women wore suits.  Hell, even the water pitchers wore suits.  He longed to shake things up:  bring a squirt gun, wear teeshirt and Bermudas, say things like, "Yo!" and "That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!".  But, here it was, the second Tuesday of the month, and he had put on his grey suit and tasteful tie and his aura of funereal decorum and felt his footsteps dragging toward the double doors.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Before The Vows

This evening's cravat is like a tribute to Spring herself.  It is a stripe of milk white and lilac, with a sheen like morning dew.  Once the last of them had finally rustled and swished out of the small, cramped church dressing room, she stood in front of the mirror and looked at her reflection.  She appeared like a vision in a little girl's dream, emerging from a froth of white tulle and lace.  From the nearby dressing table she grasped her bouquet and arranged its long lavender ribbons so that they would cascade down the front of her gown.  The door opened and her father stepped in to get her for the ceremony.  As his image filled the space behind her in the mirror, she became slightly alarmed.  For the first time in her life, she saw tears in his eyes.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

...But I Digress

It may be this tie that causes me to re-evaluate my acceptance of all Solid Colour Ties.  This magenta linen-finish cravat with its bloom of varied dimples is just...there.  I don't dislike magenta.  As a matter of fact, I think the word itself would make a wonderful stripper name, especially paired with any other Old School Crayola 64 Crayon Box colour.  Think about it:  Magenta Aquamarine.  Magenta Cornflower.  Magenta Mahogany.  Magenta Midnight Blue.  How kickass would it be, even, to have a pet hamster named Magenta?

Monday, May 6, 2013

In Which We Inadvertently Reveal A Distaste For Brain-Teasers And Logic Puzzles

So, tonight Brian wears a bright blue tie with a lot of stripes.  There are white stripes, and inside those, two more skinny red stripes.  So, really, there's like...five stripes, at least.  It's like those tricky triangle puzzles that are one big triangle all cut up into little triangles.  The directions are deceptively simple:  How many triangles do you see?  So you count up all the little triangles.  "Sixteen!" you say happily.  Some other kid says derisively, "Duh. Seventeen. You forgot to count the big triangle."  Then some snotty genius kid starts tracing all the medium-sized triangles made up by the teeny triangles, the teacher nods knowingly and in that smug and pleased way, and pretty soon you want to smack everyone and go home to pudding and Oreos.

Friday, May 3, 2013

In Which We Invoke The Birthday Resolution, And Make A Not-So-Subtle Plea

...And it seems like we have a Friday Tie as well.  BriWi knots up the same tie as last Friday, the stripe of ebony with porcelain white grosgrain.  It's Brian's (and my) Birthday this week, so let's hope that he gets some new cravats to wow us here at The Report.  If not, perhaps he could make a Birthday Resolution and endeavour to wear some lovely, long-unseen ties rather than these Regulars.  (I'm thinking of the Glorious Pink Tie, dearest Brian.  It has been too long.)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Being Neighborly

Brian is finally delving a little deeper into L'armoire des Cravates, for we haven't seen this particular tie in a while.  It's the textured violet silk with petite white dots in a grid pattern.  She was awakened by a hard rapping on the front door at seven AM.  Bleared with sleep, she shuffled out to the livingroom and opened the door without thinking.  A fistful of violets, their purple faces and white throats, was the first thing she saw.  Confused, she blinked and looked past them to their owner.  It was the old man next door.  "Violets, see?  Your yard is full of 'em," he accused.  "They're like weeds. They spread and take over everything. You gotta get on top of 'em and get rid of 'em. I don't want 'em in my yard.  So...just wanted to let you know.  They might look pretty to you, but they're death to lawn grass.  Tell your husband...if you've got one."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Country Kitschin'

Perhaps this is now Bri's Monday Tie.  It was, after all, last Monday when he most recently donned this homey cravat of teensy blue and white checks sprinkled with pink diamond-shaped medallions.  All he needed was one of those concrete geese perched on the corner of the Nightly newsdesk, all decked out in a themed outfit, and the effect would have been complete.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sometimes, You Need To Look A Little Deeper To See The Dream

Mr. Williams wears a cravat of deep navy with slim diagonals of platinum white.  It's a very staid, very stodgy tie.  This is the kind of tie that holds no surprises.  It's not going to suddenly, at a birthday dinner, hold out the keys to a brand new car.  Likewise, it will not turn to you during an episode of Seinfeld and announce that listen, there's no easy way to do this, but it would like a divorce.  This is a tie that will not, out of nowhere, show up with two tickets to Paris, but it will drive you to the emergency room when you cut yourself on a broken coffee pot.  Twice.  Not so bad now, is it?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Visiting Hours

This evening we are spared from another purply tie as Brian Williams knots up a familiar striper of midnight and white, the latter having the texture of grosgrain ribbon.  After so many weeks of being so very ill, her patience and good humour were brittle and nearly spent.  He came in with a small bouquet of tulips and a silly stuffed dog. She turned to him from gazing wistfully out the window, and her eyes were shiny and wet.  One blink, and they overflowed.  He held her and when the tears subsided, he picked up her hairbrush.  Scalp to ends, he brushed her dark tresses; it always took the stress away.  He tied it all up in a beautiful ribbon and, just to make her laugh, put one on her new dog, too.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's Three Times Cleaner Than A Germy Sponge Or Washcloth

When I was much younger, Bounty paper towels advertised themselves as The Quicker Picker Upper.  Their commercials featured a square of their towelling being laid upon all manner of liquids; then a hand would quickly fetch them up, and tada!  A bright, shiny-clean countertop would be all that remained.  This after mere moments of Bounty sucking up the liquid in its little square pockets of absorbable fibers.  Brian's tie reminds me of these commercials with its minute mulberry and ashen checks.  It looks for all the world as if it were made of a few sheets of Bounty sodden with grape drink.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

High Society

There is something commanding and elegant about this tie of black and varied metallic gold stripes that Brian Williams wears tonight.  It speaks in modulated low tones and careful whispers, deferentially, yet not in the least bit obsequious.  It may be New Money, but it is not Nouveau Riche, not brash nor gauche.  Steering away from dangerous deals and cheap women, it chooses carefully among the greybeards of the industry and the young turks up and coming.  Women can wait, fast money is of no interest, and for now, only wine, nothing stronger.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Don't Fall For It

Brian again grabs this cottagey looking tie of minuscule blue checks overlaid with a scattering of tiny pink medallions that look like blobby little diamonds.  It's a very comfy-cozy tie, like walking into a craft store or a Cracker Barrel gift shop full of potpourri, wax melt scent burners, cinnamon brooms, and little quilty things.  These shops always sell tons of cutesy items that I call "dust catchers." They're fun to look at, delightful to inhale, but I know that their primary purpose is to Sit Around.  I already have a couple of cats for that.

Friday, April 12, 2013

"He Kindly Stopped For Me..."

A sort of grandchild to Wednesday's cravat, this tie has stripes of nightsky and blush pink.  He pulled into the driveway and jumped out of the van, quickly walked to the back, and took out the arrangement. It was a towering vase of bashful pink roses and carnations and star lilies.  Anyone would love these flowers, he thought.  This was the part of his job that he loved the most, the face at the door.  Wide eyes, smiles, the thank you--as if he had bought the flowers for them himself.  He rang the bell, and a woman answered.  Her face was puffy and tragic.  It was clear that she had been crying, and that she had been at it for a long, long time.  A small boy pushed in front of her, and only then did he notice that they were both dressed in black.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Market Day

This may be a Debut Tie.  We here at The Report can't recall seeing it before, a cravat of strawberry with classic white-centred medallions of violet.  She threaded through the slow-moving crowds in front of him, swift and direct.  Turning to find him, she laughed and waved, beckoning him to hurry.  He caught up with her at her favourite produce vendor, picking out vegetables with a practiced eye.  Saad, who loved her like a suitor, held up huge white heads of cauliflower, vast nests of dark green kale, handfuls of purply shallots, and red-veined Swiss chard.  She nodded at them all, flirting shamelessly, and moved on to fruits where the bargaining became hard.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Icon Reborn

It is the silk stripe of lilac and midnight for Mr. Williams this evening.  He readied the cameras and barked orders at his assistants.  The model was new and inexperienced, and he dreaded this shoot.  She walked in wearing a close-fitting black satin dress with long sleeves and a highbacked neckline.  "Black black black," he muttered.  "Even her hair is black.  Let's start with headshots, nice and tight."  He moved in close, crowding her, hoping for a reaction.  She lifted her face and he gasped.  Her eyes.  Her eyes were...lavender.  Her eyes were lavender, like two beautiful orchids.  He couldn't stop clicking off shots.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In Which I, Like That Un Guy In North Korea, Rattle My (Sartorial) Saber

Like most things in Northeast Ohio, Brian's newscast on Monday was pre-empted by the Indians Home Opener.  We here at The Report had to wait until Tuesday's viewing for a tie, and sadly, we were rewarded with yet another airing of the blue with grey polka dots.  This cravat cluttered up March most shamefully, and BriWi seems hellbent on giving it free rein to do likewise with April.  If that is the case, it will find itself in that Den Of Ubiquity known as...The Axis Of Evil.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


The cravat for this evening's consideration is one of smoky turquoise and a lighter, pewtery blue in narrow stripes.  Whenever she travelled, she liked to stop in the little out of the way towns and find the tiny shops full of stuff.  Now and then she would find a cache of nice things, antique jewelry and table silver.  Today was one of those days.  She had spotted an old squash blossom necklace, heavy and gloomy with tarnish, but its stones beautiful.  The shopkeeper, long braids mostly grey, lifted it from the case almost begrudgingly.  They both wanted it in their own way, and they would both need convincing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What Do The Simple Folk Do?

This evening's striped tie is of deepwater blue and kidglove grey.  He affixed his stickpin to his ascot and carefully buttoned his waistcoat.  Peering out the window, he noticed the clouds gathering on the edge of the horizon.  "Patterson, please tell Greyson not to saddle up the horses for the ladies," he said.  "We're sure to get some weather soon."  He shrugged into the proffered morning coat, took the finely brushed bowler, and went down to excuse himself from breakfast.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Decision

The striped tie BriWi offers viewers tonight is one of suitcoat navy and pumpkin.  It was the hardest thing she had ever made up her mind to do, but she had to do it.  And not just for herself, but for the baby who was coming soon.  It wasn't that she didn't love him--she did and with all her heart.  But he was always...sad.  Just so sad.  There was never any joy, and she was aware that his gloom was casting an ever-darkening veil over her own outlook.  She packed carefully and swiftly, and in a blur of tears.

Monday, April 1, 2013

We're Back, And This Is Our Reward


Monday, March 25, 2013

Poor, Tired Tie!

This tie made me so profoundly sad.  Here it was, obviously suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, yet cruel Brian Williams will not let it rest.  He sadistically wrests it from L'Armoire des Cravates and contorts it into its now familiar shape.  And there it hangs, so exhausted that it cannot hold a dimple, but instead makes a ravine.  It is richly purple, but is that a print or a pattern of slightly dimmer, teensy purple checks? houndstooth? rickrack?  Honestly, I think I said it best back in 2009.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thank Goodness My Mother Never Watched TV On Thanksgiving

Oh no.  No, Brian, no.  This tie terribly, horribly, awfully wrong.  It reminds me of those old-timey Kraft Foods commercials that used to air during the Thanksgiving Day parades back when I was a kid.  The narrator would say horrifying things like, "Cut Velveeta cheese into quarter-inch cubes.  Press a dried cranberry into each cube.  Now, prepare pineapple Jell-O according to the directions.  Place the Velveeta and cranberry cubes into a ring mold, like so.  Pour the Jell-O in and allow to set.  Unmold and serve on lettuce leaves with warm Kraft Catalina dressing!"  And I would watch in morbid fascination while this Food Travesty occurred before my eyes.  That is what this tie, this Velveeta orange cravat studded with cranberry medallions, looks like.  A 1960s Kraft Kitchens Travesty.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


It's another striper this evening for Brian, this time one of putty and flag blue.  It was early when she wandered into the empty studio and flicked on the light.  Gathering her supplies, she sat at the potter's wheel and worked the treadle.  Her hands cupped and shaped the clay instinctively.  Too late, she realized she had not removed the sapphire solitaire now resting on her right ring finger.  As the rivulets of murky water flowed between and over her fingers, the ring soon became statuary jewelry, and she noted how much more appropriate it seemed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Comforts Of Home

Brian anticipates the arrival of Spring with tonight's tie, its deep midnight field crossed by slim blushpink stripes.  Her heart quickened as she realized he was walking directly toward her.  Barricaded by guests and tables, she had no escape.  Soon, he stood over her, hand extended.  "Would you dance with me?"  Her face flushed, but her table-mates would not hear of a refusal.  In the end, she rose and walked out to the floor with him.  She had not danced since she had come home, and her prosthetic still felt awkward and odd.  But his chest felt familiar and comforting, and as she rested her hot cheek against his lapel, she could smell the rose in his boutonniere.

Monday, March 18, 2013

This Tie Is A Trip

BriWi's necktie this evening is a very busy affair of dark blue overlaid with a barely discernible grid of true blue.  Inside each grid's resulting square is a brilliant orange texturey block.  The whole thing is quite Cultural Textile-looking.  It's the sort of fabric you might see on the neckline of the Cameroon boubou, or the African men's kufi.  Then again, it's also reminiscent of the upholstery inside some airplanes back in the seventies that would take you on your cultural safari.

Friday, March 15, 2013

For St. Patrick's Day, We're All A Little Bit Irish

Back in the early days of The Report, I used to pine away for a Green Tie, lamenting that Brian Williams had No Such Thing.  Then, one St. Patrick's Day, he appeared at The Nightly news desk sporting a striper similar to this one, and since that auspicious outing, he has celebrated the Irish by wearing a bit o' the green.  Tonight, it's sure Himself reveals a big Irish heart by wearing the colors of the Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipes and Drums.  In a show of support, he knots up a deep navy and forest green cravat.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some Things Bear Repeating, And Some Things Do Not, I Discover

BriWi is really giving this tie a workout lately.  How many more times do we have to look at this blue-with-grey-polkadots thing, seriously?  What's the deal?  I mean, I could wax on and on about how it represents the dichotomy of March weather, with its sunny blue skies one day, and its grey clouds scudding over the horizon the next.  Or I could do a vignette about some sad woman on an airplane, looking out at the grey clouds in the sky and thinking about the man she just left in divorce court.  But honestly, I'm irked and wearied by the continual appearance of this tie.  I like it fine, but not every three or four days, you know?  Even champagne could get tiresome after...okay, maybe not champagne, but this tie?  Absolutely.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Ah, this evening Brian Williams dons a stylish silk tie of impossibly small paprika checks surmounted here and there by circlets of bluesmoke ringed with black.  It's smart and fashionable, its colours warm, yet assertive.  This tie is the friend who tells you yes, he's cheating, then finds you a good therapist and drives you there.  It is the teacher who docked you a grade level for a late assignment, but recommended you for the creative writing scholarship.  It is the loan officer who leans down to brush the cat hair from his pantleg. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In The Good Old Summertime

This evening's tie has shockingly vivid stripes of brilliant summersky blue and mandarin orange.  It's like being back at the city pool in the heat of August, sun heating the concrete mercilessly, and the toddler moms grabbing what little shade there is.  We dunk our towels into the blue, cold water and spread them on the cement, imagining that they sizzle.  Fishing our money from the toe of our sneaker, we buy cans of Orange Crush and junk like Tootsie Rolls, jawbreakers, SweeTarts, Razzies, Turkish Taffy, and, if we really got lucky, wedges of greasy pizza.  We did cannonball dives, provoked the lifeguards, and always got our money's worth.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Back Then

Tonight's tie is the elder cousin of yesterday's offering, its stripes being navy and cardinal red.  The families filed into the pews and took their customary seats before Sacrament Sunday services began.  Charity cast her eyes modestly downward and folded her hands to keep them still.  In front of her, bonnet crisp and fresh, sat Constance Porter, recently arrived from Boston.  Already tongues were wagging in the village about her, but here she was, in church, and in the governor's pew!  Charity stole a look as Goody Porter pulled her shawl more tightly around her.  What!  It could not be!  Unless her eyes had deceived her, Charity had seen--and she was certain that she had--a scarlet bodice and laces underneath the shawl!  If the Reverend saw this from his high pulpit, Constance Porter would be in the stocks, and the governor under suspicion, too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Targeted Revenge

A tie with wide stripes of deep navy blue and pumpkin is the selection for tonight.  She decanted the wine and arranged the pillows on the couch for the third time.  He had never seen her place, and she felt like it was kind of a big deal, really.  And then suddenly, there he was, straight from work, in coat and tie, which he removed and hung on the closet doorknob.  Within moments, she spied her fat orange marmalade cat walking purposefully toward the jacket.  "Evalynn, no!  No, Evalynn.  Come here!"  The cat turned to her, blinked, then sidled away, leaving a swath of hair on the coat as it moved against it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

This Report Goes Out To All Of Our Dimple Watchers In Particular

Brian talks me off the Fashion Ledge--a bit--with tonight's more sedate cravat of deep berry underwoven with black in a burlap/tweed-esque texture.  We here at The Report get lots of impassioned emails regarding the dimples of B.Williams' ties, and this evening will no doubt unleash another flood.  To stanch the electronic tide, perhaps, let us say this:  The dimple was tragically misplaced, albeit lovely.  We share your pain although not at the depth and breadth that you experience it.  Oh, my dears, how could we ever?

Monday, March 4, 2013


Oh my.  This tie.  My eyes widened when I felt its assault in all its Orange Deer-Hunting, Traffic Cone Impact.  That power was not in the least ameliorated by the odd olive drab (?) medallions/ameoebae/splotchkins arrayed upon it, either.  Just as I was mopping up my tears, there was correspondent Miguel Almaguer on the split screen, similarly bedecked, his tangerine tie even more overtly orangey.  Perhaps BriWi's cravat would have appeared more stylish and less...gauche had it been part of a better ensemble.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Oh, Awf'ly

Mr. Williams dons a striped cravat of rich violet with deep suitcoat navy stripes bordered by slim bands of cream-white.  There is something ineffably formal and English about this tie.  It positively emanates a sort of posh, Prince Charlesian accent and a courtly quarter-bow at the waist, heels tight together.  It says Earl Grey on trays of silver service and scones with Devon cream.  I prefer strawberry jam to marmalade, if truth be told.  (I know, terribly gauche.)

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Brian Williams reprises the crayon blue with grey polka dots this evening.  Grasping the child's hand, she led him to the cloakroom and helped him with his raincoat and rubber boots.  He was so obedient, so willing, and so uncomplaining always.  His blue eyes looked enormous and trusting, and she explained that he would be leaving early today.  She led him to the front doors where the long dark town car was waiting.  The chauffeur came out, nodded, and she walked him to the vehicle.  He looked back tearfully and waved, once.  She smiled, heartbroken.  The car swallowed him up and pulled away.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Joy In The Mornings

It's been a good long while since viewers of The Nightly have seen this tie, the periwinkle silk sprinkled with impossibly tiny white windows framed in ebony.  She opened her eyes drowsily and looked at the clock.  Smiling, she stretched luxuriously, then walked to the window and opened the curtains wide.  Outside, the sky was brilliantly blue, gorgeous and clear.  She laughed and looked across the horizon at the tall buildings, buildings full of people at desks, on the phone, at computers, sitting in meetings, endless meetings full of numbers and charts and reports.  She was done with all of that.  Forever done, and it felt wonderful.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Secret

This tie is a texture-y affair of deep purple surmounted by startlingly white Swiss dots in a grid pattern.  But instead of the polka dots giving it a lighthearted and happy ambiance, it imparts instead a briskness and cool efficiency.  One thinks of blueprints or huge Department of Defense electronic maps, each continent holding pinpricks of white, barely blinking lights that signify, oh, maybe a nuclear warhead silo or a US military outpost or the presence of perhaps a dangerous dissident.  Classified, you understand.  Your eyes only.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Night Walk

This evening Brian adorns himself with a cravat of wide blush lilac and midnight sky stripes.  Despite the setting sun, the day's heat still lay heavy.  The walk no longer seemed like a good idea, and sweat made dirty smears on his forehead.  As night descended, he came upon a darkened grove at the edge of the property.  A pale glow appeared through the branches; he heard the plashing of water.  Hurrying his pace, he soon came to a clearing in the trees and saw her, illuminated by the glow of a small lantern, her black hair lying wetly against her neck, her shoulders bare and rising out of the dark pool.

Friday, February 22, 2013

So. Much. Purple.

SPT.  Not only is this an Unprecedented Back-to-Back wearing of a Solid Purple, but this one is home to that Thing Which Dwells Beneath The Knot.  Horrid.

Thursday, February 21, 2013



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Just The Dessert Menu, Please, And Some Champagne

BriWi is in the pink tonight with a striped, cable-textured cravat of icy rose and berry.  This tie makes me think of parfaits and Valentine desserts.  It's a strawberry milkshake made at a soda fountain, the dark berries visible inside the cold, pink concoction.  It's what is left on your plate after a cheesecake with raspberry coulis and fresh whipped cream, all berries and cream and swirls and smears and mmmmmm.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Lot Of Bother (And Blather) For Not A Lot Of Tie

This tie tonight is a plummy, tweedy affair that I just can't get off the fence about.  Sometimes I look at it and I think, "Maybe I'll write a wry little ditty about Penny Sue, the just-hitched wife who wanted to give her husband a fancy new necktie and so she used some grape Kool-Aid and a tater sack."  Other times I think, "This is the tailcoat of Willy Wonka or the trombone player's jacket from a swing band."  Still others, I think, "Feh. SPT. And that texturing isn't gonna save it."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just Settle Down

Brian Williams gives the stripes a rest and instead dons a tie of true blue with slate grey polka dots.  The colors are sedate and sober enough to dispel any aura of frivolity, like having an etiquette lesson instead of a clown at a child's birthday party.  It's like opening a small jewelry-shaped box, but finding a coupon for a month's free carwashes instead.  Both are useful and even nice, but they just aren't fun.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

If You Want To Celebrate, That's Fine; Just Don't Expect It From Your Newsman

There is no Valentine falderal for the serious newsman this evening.  If you expected to tune in and see a red tie or a pink tie or--heaven forbid!--a Theme Tie with hearts, you can forget it!  Brian Williams cannot be bothered with such truck.  No sir!  No madam!  Many goshdarn serious things have occurred in the world, and to inform the viewers in what has become a Sacred Trust whilst wearing a silly Holiday Tie would be frivolous and unseemly.  Delivering the News of the Day demands a solid, trustworthy tie, and that is what we got:  mature navy blue and tastefully fashionable bittersweet stripes. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

After A Trip To The Craft Store And The Bar...

As we here at The Report take care of some Other Business, please enjoy this Classic Cravat Critique from 24 October 2011 for this evening's tie:

Tonight, Brian's tie is so complex and intricate that I almost had to make a small diagram in order to explicate it.  (Thanks a lot, HDTV.) Brilliant summersky blue is overlaid by broad bands of black meshwork, then further interrupted by platinum stripes shot through with narrow ribbons of lavender.  This cravat was, in a word, worky. And all over the place. It had too much going on. It reminds me of those Saloon Girl Outfits, you know? Those things have satin and lace and ruffles and lacings and corseting and decolletage and a peplum and a bustle and fishnet stockings and short boots and holy crap, it's like the dressmaker discovered margaritas and velcro in the same night, you know?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Still Beauty

This evening Brian Williams favours us with a striped cravat of deep navy and smoky plum.  That he would never see her again after today was unfathomable.  The kind words of the interminable procession of friends, family, and acquaintances meant nothing--no--less than nothing to him.  Why were they there?  Why could he not be alone with his grief?  He looked out into the sea of mourners in their dark, respectful clothes and silently screamed at all of them to leave, just go home.  He turned back to the casket where she lay quietly, so awfully quietly, the amethyst brooch he gave her for her birthday pinned at her waist.  As he beheld her still beauty, the amethyst began to imperceptibly swirl, then brighten. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We Were Due


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


For this night's broadcast, Brian chooses the stripe of lavender and nightsky.  The flame of his candle lighted the way down the narrow passage to the tiny room.  This part of the house had long been shut up, Mrs. Parks told him, but still he had insisted upon seeing it.  He drew forth the key and unlocked the door, stepping into the chamber.  In the now-flickering light, the shrouded forms of furniture looked ghostly and macabre.  He caught his breath, gasping.  How could this be?  The scent of lilacs bloomed in the room, filling it to every corner.  It was as if a vase full of the flowers stood on every surface, every table and mantelpiece.  He reached out, grabbed the bedpost for support, and tried to steady his emotions.  It was impossible, he knew. 

Monday, February 4, 2013


This evening's cravat was cinnamon silk with clustered pinstripes of metallic gold.  It was always the same dream, always.  She was in a marketplace of some kind, and it was hot, hot and dry and dusty, but there was a wind blowing.  It lifted the flaps of the brightly colored stalls that surrounded her, each one selling odd and exotic things.  There were fruits, some cut open and tantalizingly leaking juices.  She saw vessels of all shapes and sizes, some of gold and silver, some of earthenware.  As she walked, she saw a dark-haired woman suddenly at the end of her path, beckoning her.  The beauty wore a sari and many veils; only her kohled eyes and jeweled forehead were visible.  The wind blew harder and hotter; the woman appeared nearer.  A braceleted hand appeared from beneath the veils and held out a small urn. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This Is The Barefoot Wine Of Ties

This is a tie we have seen often, the rich violet crossed by dark navy stripes bordered in porcelain white.  I want so much more from this tie, but its fabric holds it back.  It's like a bottle of inexpensive wine.  The initial taste is pleasant enough, but there is no complexity, no finish, no body. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

So Refined

Mr. Williams wears a graphite grey tie with a classic foulard pattern of subtle lighter grey medallions.  This would make a lovely ascot worn with a morning coat, would it not?  One can imagine its soft folds, neatly pinned, on an immaculate shirtfront.  A tasteful weskit is carefully held out by the valet, then buttoned and brushed.  The watch and chain added, our gentleman collects hat and gloves and heads out the door.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brian Has A Lot Of Ties That Look Kinda The Same, And I Feel Like He's Quizzing Us

Have you ever read a fashion magazine and seen a layout called something like "The Look for Less"?  It shows a model wearing all designer duds on one page, and on the facing page, she wears a similar outfit, but this one is much cheaper because its elements are all bought at places like H&M, Target, and JC Penney.  I feel as if that's what Brian Williams' tie tonight is, the Lesser Look of Tuesday night's cravat.  Tonight's tie has the same subtle dark pattern that looks tweedy, but instead of that lovely dark cherry juice colour, it's just purple.  Again.  Walmart, not Armani.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


For tonight, Brian has selected a brilliant red-violet cravat with charcoal stripes, widely spaced.  Instead of the romantic and elegant evening she had envisioned, it had turned sloppy and morbid.  She grabbed her wineglass and stumbled out, deep into the rows of Cab Franc, its bunches full and ready.  The deepening dusk made the vineyard her refuge, and she sat down, listening for her name.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

And Don't Forget To Tip Your Cocktail Waitress

I do like this tie, even though it borders dangerously on being one of the SPTs.  Here is how I described it back on 18 October 2010 in this Classic Cravat Critique:

Tonight Brian knots up a classy silk of plum with a subtle black pattern of stripes that, at a distance, can double as a sort of nouveau tweed. It's very Rat Pack, very snazzy, kind of "microphone in one hand and highball in the other with a lot of piano riffs while I sip and nod knowingly during the bridge." Order me a sidecar, Bri, while I visit the little girls' room to powder my nose.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Smart And Snappy

Inauguration Day, and Brian Williams dons a brisk-looking striper of cream and navy blue.  It looks formal and precise, a little martial in its comportment, like a salute.  This is a tie that could pass muster at the parade grounds, yet meet the ambassador at a small tête-à-tête in the Map Room. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rich Rewards

So Brian gives the Echo Chamber Of Faux Répétition a break and knots up his cravat of lusciously textured coffee-coloured silk with the petit-point pattern of coral dots.  This tie is so evocative of richness and flavor.  It is good coffee, expertly roasted.  It is homemade chocolate frosting, thick and swirled on a Valentine's Day cake.  It is the small, indulgent truffle with pink sprinkles bought at the chocolatier at the end of a long day, placed on a crystal plate.  A glass of merlot is poured, a good book is savoured, a fire is rekindled in the hearth. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's A Goofus And Gallant Sort Of Retrospective

Have you ever had to wait in the pediatrician's office with your child and picked up a Highlights magazine or other tot-friendly publication?  No doubt you've helped Junior and yourself pass the time comparing two similar pictures and picking out the differences between them:  a dog's tail missing, a pocket switching sides, a girl now wearing glasses.  Tonight, Brian wonders if we can spot the fact that this blue and green striped tie is not the same as the one he wore on 9 January or even 14 January.  No, this one has wider stripes and the blue is much, much brighter!  See, Brian!  And you thought we wouldn't notice.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Classics

This evening's cravat is a sort of grandmother to the one worn on 8 January.  Its narrow stripes are a modest lavender and ebony, sedately fashionable, more modulated and graceful.  This is a tie that knows class, not flash; character, not quirkiness; style, not trendiness.  It is The Great Gatsby to Twilight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No Biggie

Well, well, well.  Once Brian Williams unearthed the blue-with-dark-dots tie from l'armoire de cravates on Friday the 11th, it would seem he was loathe to put it away.  Here it is again, in all its nonchalance and aplomb, a mere few days later.  I suppose with an attitude such as this this tie possesses, it's to be expected.

Monday, January 14, 2013

But, Really, Isn't There Someone Who Can Do This For Him?

The new term for it is "Shopping Your Closet."  Here at The Report, we call it a Shameless Repeat Cycle.  Regardless, Brian has decided to again knot up the striper of deep blue and forest green most recently seen on 9 January.  Perhaps Bri has made a Resolution to be more newsy and less GQ.  "My tie?  I don't pay any attention to ties!  The world is in turmoil!  The United States is on the cusp of major legislation and default, and you are wondering about a scrap of fabric!  Away with you!"

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Almost The Weekend

What's this?  Abandoning stripes for the moment, BriWi dons a necktie of true blue with a very subtle crosshatch pattern.  Sprinkled upon it are large Prussian blue polka dots.  This tie nudges and winks "Casual Friday."  It hangs around the breakroom and talks about who's headed to the Super Bowl.  It lounges on the corner of a desk and complains about who's hurt on its fantasy team.  It Skypes with its buddies while it messes with spreadsheets.  And at five o'clock, it gets stuffed in a briefcase, trench coat pocket, or glove compartment.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Life In Shadow

Smoked violet crossed by narrow charcoal diagonals is Brian's choice for his cravat.  This tie is aged velvet curtains packed away under the stage, dusty purple folds quietly holding the applause of audiences long ago.  It is the cape of the countess, dark silk lined with warm, soft plum, hooded for discretion on winding carriage rides with unnamed men who bring scandal and bouquets of flowers.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


This evening's cravat is a moody stripe of dressy navy and moss green.  It is a shadowy forest at sunset, the leafy alcoves cool and dark.  In the distance is the muffled sound of the brook as it slides over rocks and around fallen tree trunks.  A tall pine sighs and sways, preparing to rest for the night. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"May I Help You, Angelina? I'm Almost Done Finding What Gwyneth Needs For Little Apple."

Brian continues to usher in his New Year with bold, arresting colours.  Tonight he knots up a stripe of hot pink and midnight.  If there were a Toys R Us on Rodeo Drive, this is what the Personal Shoppers would wear in the Barbie Aisle as they escorted the rich and famous mommies up and down whilst the glitterati picked out dollies and dream houses for their little princesses. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Red Letter Day

Welcome back, dears.  Happy New Year from all of us here at The Report!

BriWi's tie tonight is a brilliant red with widely spaced stripes of navy blue.  She was sitting at the kitchen table upon which an enormous amount of gummy bears was spread.  Painstakingly, she picked out the red ones and deposited them into a cellophane bag.  Satisfied that she had every single ruby-coloured bear separated out, she tied a blue grosgrain ribbon to close the bag and affixed a tag.  She would ask the florist to include the candy with the flowers.  He would love that!  Smiling, she scooped the remaining gummies into a container and hid them in the pantry.  Their turn would come later.