Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Which I Come To A Conclusion...

...of sorts. While I find les cravates and this sort of micro-writing endlessly fascinating, I no longer find the neckwear of Mr. Brian Williams to be consistently inspiring. Thankfully, the Title of this repository has planned for this eventuality. Once in a while, I will review a tie when the mood strikes, but on a capricious basis. And certainly on the Re-emergence Of The Lovely Pink Tie.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Art Heads

When I was in high school, all the art kids used to bring these grey boards to classes and use incredibly sharp, wooden-handled tools to eke out designs in them. So, while they were supposed to be listening to teachers talk about bisecting angles, titrating solutions, or punctuating subordinate clauses, they were instead digging out pieces of rubbery grey matter in varying line widths and chunks, leaving behind piles of crumbs and curls. Brian's tie tonight reminds me of those projects, with its reddish blocks of textured lines set onto a deep blue background.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Again With The Lazy Ties


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ladies Night

Bri couldn't wait any longer; he knotted up a purple tie this evening.  His choice was the textured violet silk with creamy Swiss dots in martial array.  Wednesday evenings bored him, but he could do exactly nothing about it.  He was too little to stay home alone, his mother said, and the stern finality in her voice warned him away from any argument.  As she packed up her sewing bag, he stuffed a rucksack full of toys.  At the schoolhouse, the warm yellow light shone through the windows.  Already, a dozen women were bent over the big quilt rack, their sharp needles piercing the stretched fabric, the threads rising and falling with the hum of their voices.  He crawled underneath, lay on his back, and opened his toybag to pull out few biplanes. With the deep purple of the quilt above him serving as the sky, each stitch a star, he flew missions and sorties until the war was over.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Oh, well. Brian has decided upon the faded indigo tie with the charcoal grey medallions. She walked out of the airport with her backpack and shoulder bag and stood on the median. Cabs and cars and buses crawled by, lingering, then rolling on, full or empty in accordance with their destination. At first she was afraid, the kind of fear that pinned her chest, held her breath hard, made her eyes bulge and pulse. She looked down, closed her eyes, willed herself to inhale slowly. Inside her boots, she curled her toes. When she opened her eyes, she felt calmer. It was chilly. She buttoned up the old denim jacket, the metal buttons dull and worn from overuse, and wound the scarf around her neck a few times. Without waiting for traffic to clear, she stepped off the curb.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's Like The First Line Of "Bohemian Rhapsody" Keeps Looping In My Head

We are refreshed and ready to Report...and Brian Williams has his own Little Hiatus, bringing the lovely Ann Curry in off the bench to take over The Nightly Desk. Did we get a new cravat upon his return? Ha! It is to laugh. Instead, he dug into the depths and brought forth the baby blue with white and midnight stripes, one that is so oddly contrasting that it appears surreal and somehow animated or painted, much like the landscape of Deadvlei, Namibia.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This Just In

The Report is on Summer Hiatus until June.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Dinner Party

Textured purple silk with mini white polka dots in a grid pattern is the cravat this evening. She could hear the easy flow of conversation punctuated here and there with appreciative and genuine laughter. It was astonishing, really, how well things were going. Their work friends were getting along with their social friends, the lamb came out beautifully medium rare, and now all she had to do was finish getting dessert ready. Her dark, dense chocolate cake was gorgeous, and she took the pan of baco noir granita out of the freezer. Her fork left perfect shards of icy wine as she scraped the tines along the surface over and over again. She placed a scoop atop each sliver of cake. It was then that she glimpsed her apron hanging on the back of the chair. Panicking, she looked at the front of her white tunic, certain she would see spots of wine.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What, Again?

Grey Amoeba Tie.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Promise

How lovely, and how unexpected! Mr. Williams resurrects a long-absent striper of beach sand and bluesky for viewers this evening. She didn't care that it was too cold to go in the water. All she knew was that as soon as she was near the ocean, she was going to find a way to get close to it, close enough to find a way to pull over and walk right to it and stand at its rim, looking at its impossible vastness. She had spent all of her life landlocked, closed in by dirt and grass and trees and crowds. There was something in her that needed to see the immense possibility of expanse. Something that was churning with life below, holding promise and holding secrets. A huge promise of life within what looked like only emptiness.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Searching For Warmth

As The Report struggles to regain its composure after a rare airing of the once ubiquitous Original Evil Tie, Brian knots up the slender stripes of deep turquoise and worsted grey-blue.  She pulled her shawl more tightly around her thin shoulders and hoped it would stop the chill draft.  It was early spring, but she had awakened to frost every morning this week.  Bright sun belied the freezing temperatures, and the cloudless sky only meant crisper cold.  Her hands ached; she drew on old wool gloves with the fingertips cut off and set the teapot on to boil.  From the basket on the floor, she unearthed her knitting and sat down to work the arthritis out of her fingers while waiting for tea.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Is This Real Life?

TWSNLBRAINDTM.  I'm still reeling.

Monday, April 28, 2014

First, The Unceasing Rain, And Now, This

Grey Amoeba Tie. The Report returns from a lovely Southern Jaunt, and this cravat is what greets us. Le sigh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And Another One Bites The Dust

Grey Amoeba Tie. I know, I know! It's a perfectly respectable tie, but Brian himself resigned this cravat to its Den Of Ubiquity. We had no choice.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Over It

Purple Purple Purple Yawn Yawn Yawn The End.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Plans

Brian Williams selects a stripe of charcoal and lilac for this evening's newscast. It finally felt like Spring, and they grabbed the last of the bottle to take out on the deck.  It was far too early for either of them to have brought out the patio furniture proper, but there were two folding lounge chairs in the garage.  They set them side by side, poured the wine, and sat down to survey the back yard.  The purple crocuses had popped out overnight, and the place looked as if it had been carpeted by a magic gardener.  Dusk fell as they talked about their future plans for the house, for themselves, for everything.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Am Step Two...Or Step One-A...Whatever Gets It Done, I Am It

This is the Sixth Appearance since the end of February (literally, 28 February) for this cravat, the graphite silk patterned with small medallions of dark charcoal and white.  I am loathe to cast it into the Axis Of Evil; it is such a stylish tie compared to the other Denizens of Dismay, but truly, it deserves its emblem.  Why, Brian, why?  What is it about this particular tie that compels you to wear it, week after week?  Is it possessed, or are you possessed by it?  Did Tom Brokaw give it to you?  Did you lose a bet?  Did your Formerly Good Dog get into your L'Armoire Des Cravates and chew them all up but the chosen few we have seen, this being your favourite?  Please, Brian Williams, please allow me to come and set things in order, freshening up your Necktie Rotation, organizing them, winnowing out just a few, and I will leave and never tell anyone.  You may have staff keep me under watch the entire time.  Remember, Step One is Admitting You Need Help.  I am here for You.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

In Which I Brave Yet Another Disappointment

What is wrong in BriTieLand?  So many Repeat Cycles and so much sameness.  Where are all of the other ties that we could  be seeing?  Instead, it's a reprise of last Wednesday's tie, the shiny lilac with ropy stripes of raspberry.  I find it interesting, even pretty at times, but I want so much to see something different.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Strangers At Home

Brian has donned the navy blue tie crossed by slim white stripes for this evening's Nightly. He began to think of everything she did as an act of defiance.  He got up precisely at seven every morning, started a pot of coffee, walked down the driveway to get the paper, and sat in his chair at the table to read it, section by section, in order.  Much later, usually at ten or eleven, she awoke, came into the kitchen with her hair tousled, wearing one of his teeshirts and a pair of denim shorts (if he was lucky) or boxers, poured a cup of coffee, and plopped down in a chair.  He still watched, horrified, as she spooned sugar into her cup--endlessly, he thought--and gave it a huge dousing of cream.  Who was this? he often thought.  How on earth is this my daughter?  Is there nothing of me in her at all?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Saved By The Ping

For tonight's broadcast, BriWi wears the pulsating and hue-changing shiny tie of electric purple and silvery pattern which looks like houndstooth, but is, in factWE INTERRUPT THIS REPORT TO ANNOUNCE A GREG FEITH SIGHTING.  In a segment about the still-missing Malaysian passenger jet, Greg Feith appeared for Expert Comments.  He was wearing another of his breathtaking ties, this one reminiscent of those souped-up restored '57 Chevys with flames on them  Of course, he looked wonderful.  We now return you to your regular Report, already in progress.headache, and took them in a single swallow.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


"Hello, everyone.  In case any of you don't know why you're here, my name is Nance, and this is a Fashion Intervention.  Brian is on his way here now, and he should be here in about fifteen minutes.  All of you are here because you care about Brian, and you are worried about him.  I'm sure it hasn't escaped any of you that he has worn the same grey tie with little floaty things on it way too often in the past month or so, and my sense of it is that this is a cry for help.  I mean, it's a perfectly stylish tie; we all agree on that; I see you nodding, but how many times is he going to wear it?  Hey, hey, it's going to be okay!  Can someone pass that woman the tissues?  Thank you.  Anyway, as I was saying.  He seems to be sort of stuck, and stuck on this one tie.  It's not even a Solid Purple, so we need to find out what in the heck is going on.  Is there trouble at home?  Is this some residual angst about his solo show being canceled?  Hold on, sir, I really can't take questions at this point.  Is this some sort of empathetic response to Ann Curry?  No idea.  But, you all have your letters to read, and I am hoping that you were very, very painfully honest.  Take the remaining time to go over them, and please compose yourselves.  Remember, he is going to be wearing the grey tie with the little floaty things when he walks in.  Don't let it throw you."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Playing To Win

Brian appears before us wearing the lilac silk striped with fuchsia cables.  Again.  She grew up in her mother's dressmaking shop, first playing among the bolts and swathes of fabric, the windings of braid and piping.  She dutifully sorted buttons for hours, happily finding the matches, loving the unusual ones, the colourful ones, the textured ones.  Now, years later, her skills were more in demand than her mother's.  She had an eye for style that was slightly ahead of le monde, but not too bold, not too avant garde.  It was her creations they wanted.  Always she was busy among the silks, the notions, the buttons, but not for play; there was no more hide-and-go-seek and the button matching was deathly serious.  Fashion was a game in Paris, but it was a blood sport, and one poor showing could kill you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

T.S. Eliot Homage

We are thanking heaven for small favours tonight as BriWi knots up the relaxed denim blue tie with charcoal polka dots. It strikes just the right mood for April, a bit frivolous and flirtatious with the print, yet still a bit somber and stormy with the colouration.  Poets and newsmen alike know that April is the cruellest month, a month most changeable, a month of contradiction much like March, but with a promise of Spring always in waiting.

Monday, March 31, 2014

In Which We Make A Direct Appeal

Le Sigh.  Brian has stopped caring with regard to his neckwear, obviously.  Tonight he has slung on, for the eleventy thousandth time this March, the graphite grey/medallion print silk number.  I like this tie, but I am dangerously close to relegating it to the Axis Of Evil due to Overuse.

Brian, face it.  You are not, and can never be, Greg Feith.  And that is just feith--er, fine. You are a Man Of Style nonetheless.  Now quit pouting and reclaim your place in The Fashion World as a Sartorial Icon.  Where is the Pink Tie?  Where is the Salmon and Heather Grey Stripe?  Why not breeze through my Archives or root through your Tie Armoire and find some truly lovely (and neglected) cravats?  We are waiting.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Did All The Greg Feith Adoration Hurt Someone's Feelings?

SPT. Purlap Tie.  Why?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Promise Keeper

Tonight, Brian is only a segment reporter on Lester Holt's Nightly.  He does have on a tie, however, so we shall report on it.  It is the dusky plum silk cravat with charcoal diagonals.  Exhausted, they lay among the rows and coughed, their eyes tearing and their chests heaving and burning.  Impossibly, the fire had not come into the vineyard at all, and only the winery tasting room and retail space was a loss.  They had managed to carry out only half the cases stored there, but it was a small dent in the inventory.  The worst thing was that the fire had happened at all.  She knew there had been ill feeling since she set up business here and let it be known that it was, for all intents and purposes, a women's winery.  That the blaze had been deliberately set she had no doubt.  She sat up and looked at the charred remains of her beautiful chateau-styled building and absentmindedly reached over to cup a luscious bunch of merlot grapes in her palm.  They were dusted with soot, but beautiful with the promise of a deep and fragrant wine.  A promise she intended to fulfill.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Le Sigh

SPT. Purlap Tie, again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


This particular cravat has been long absent.  It is a heavily textured check of white and purple.  It's perfectly fine as a tie, but imagine seeing this fabric on the bolt.  So retro!  I could see Sixties designers making maxi skirts for party hostesses, to be worn with a wide belt and one of those white, stretchy, banlon shirts with collar and cuffs.  Or maybe a Twiggy-inspired coat with double-breasted A-line styling--very short--and high white go go boots.  Quite Mod.

Monday, March 24, 2014

On The Way

This evening Brian wears his cravat of cornflower blue striped by golden cables.  "You can drop me right here," she said to the driver.  "I can walk the rest of the way just fine."  The pickup truck ground to a stop on the dirt road and she grabbed her bag and hopped down.  Waving, she watched it disappear into the horizon.  In a few moments, there was silence.  She was surrounded by sun and sky and heavy, bobbing waves of wheat. She looked at it with a practiced eye; in about two weeks it would be in storage.  The dust from her ride had settled, and she wandered into the rows.  Setting her bag down, she drew out a flowered dress and some wet wipes.  Hurriedly, she took off her jeans and tee and shook off the travel.  She gave herself a quick bath among the wheat with the towelettes and put on the dress.  Pulling on her boots, then packing up her stuff, she looked around to make sure all was as before.  Emerging, she regained the path and walked on.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Where Greg Feith Gets His Ties

The Report has learned the designer behind the stunning and colourful ties of Our Cravatical Connoisseur.  For all of you who have been longing to buy yourselves and The Men In Your Life a Greg Feith Tie, demand that your local haberdasher start ordering some Vitaliano Pancaldi neckwear.  According to the man himself, "Pancaldi ties never go out of style!"  You're welcome.

Friday, March 21, 2014

In Which We Look On The Bright Side

SPT.  Even though Brian wears his Purlap Tie, viewers of The Nightly and we here of The Report are rescued by a Greg Feith sighting.

Greg Feith, thank heavens, showed up wearing another necktie of flowing and billowing prismatic stripes, sort of a Cravatical Homage to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Welcome Spring!  And welcome back to this cravat, a boldly graphic stripe.  The field colour is brilliant summersky blue, and the widely spaced stripes are black snugged by slim bands of white.  The horn honked impatiently outside, and she grabbed her backpack off the kitchen chair.  No way was she going to risk having to say goodbye to her mother for the fiftieth time; why did he honk the horn?  She hurriedly assembled a breakfast, raiding the fruit bowl and the cupboard, selecting a banana and a few granola bars.  Once outside, she grinned and took a deep breath.  In one leap, she was in the Jeep and he backed out of the driveway and onto the road.  She pulled her hair into a quick ponytail and they merged onto the highway and into the world of sun, sky, road, and freedom.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Short, There's Simply Knot A More Congenial Spot...

Still mourning the loss of Greg Feith, we hardly glanced at tonight's cravat, a stripe of lilac and something dark, oh, we forget.  Let's face it.  We had a hard time concentrating on Brian's tie because we kept hoping Greg Feith would make an appearance.  Now that we know the Feith Era is over at The Nightly, we will resign ourselves to the cold fact and get back to The Report as usual.  Our brief stay in Camelot was lovely, was it not?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We Have Been Tempted

Brian Williams breaks the hearts of his legions of fans by not even taking up the challenge presented to him by the dashing Tie Innovator Greg Feith.  Instead, he doubles down and wears yet again the graphite grey silk with the amoeba-like medallions.  (See 28 Feb.; 7 March).  Yes, we are grateful it is not a Stripe.  Yes, we are grateful it is not a Purple. Oh, bother.  I see now that we are just inconsolable that it is not a Feith.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This Is A Special Report

We here at The Report hope that NBC News finds a permanent spot for one Greg Feith, whose bold and daringly stylish cravats have held us in their sway all week.

Greg Feith, you are a Tie Idol, a God of The Cravat.  Bless your Bold and Mufti Neckwear.  Forever.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In Which We Make An Exception Entirely And Report On...

Ann Curry commandeered The Nightly's desk tonight.  She wore no tie.  Guest authority Greg Feith, speaking about possible wreckage of the Malaysian jetliner, however, did wear a tie, and what a tie it was.  Please, please, please use my sidebar link and view it on the webcast.  You will not be sorry.  We are still deep in debate as to whether or not we love it, are still in shock, or want to go to the circus.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Brian Does...It

So!  Tonight's tie!  Wow.  What...was that about?  A dusty lilac field with stripes that looked like fuchsia cables.  It was kind of like Cirque du Soleil meets porn fetish film studio meets Easter Parade meets Dora the Explorer aisle at Toys R Us.  The lilac was pretty, and I like the idea of the cable textured stripe, but fuchsia?  There is a taste issue here that needs to be addressed.  But not now.  I have a headache.

Friday, March 7, 2014

All In A Day's Work

Brian has knotted up what may become known as his Friday Tie, now that he has worn it two consecutive week's ends.  It is the graphite silk with small medallions--navy? black?--highlighted in ash.  She came to the bank several times a week to babysit her money, and she could be both terrifying and charming about it.  And even though she was at least fifteen years older than him, he found her irresistibly alluring. Her voice was confident, yet feminine, and although she smelled wonderfully of flowers and citrus, she knew as much as he did about finance.  Her dark hair was slightly streaked with grey; she wore fitted dresses and suits and expensive high-heeled shoes.  Her jewelry was always marcasite and silver with a bit of onyx.  The staff called her The Grey Lady, but he felt that was a terrible misnomer.  When he thought of her, when he closed his eyes and thought of her scent, her voice, her mien, it filled him with red.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring Is In The Air

Brian's tie of summersky blue and cloud white stripes tonight is like a harbinger of Spring.  A warm wind from the south had kept up all night, and when he awoke and looked outside, he smiled.  The snow was gone.  He, too, felt a burden gone, lighter, warmer, renewed.  Lifting a mug from the rack, he made a quick cup of tea and walked out on the porch to get the newspaper.  The sun, the breeze, the brilliantly blue sky, even the smell of the air made him stop and savour the morning.  Closing his eyes and dragging in a couple of huge, deep breaths, he sat down on the step and set his mug next to him.  The white cat across the street, a stray, walked down the Shays' driveway, paused, and came closer.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Making And Selling Happiness

Rich brown textured fabric peppered with tiny peach-pink dots greets the viewer of The Nightly tonight. Her first job had been at a candy kitchen in one of the tourist meccas downtown.  She had to wear an old-fashioned dress and mob cap, both in pink-sprigged calico, and a pristine white ruffled apron.  Her favourite days were the fudge-making days, which she cooked in a huge copper kettle right in the large front window of the shop, overlooking the street.  A crowd always gathered, especially when she swung the pot over to the marble slab and poured the stuff out, immediately working it with the two wooden paddles.  Little by little, the rich chocolate liquid became stiffer, and by the time she had worked it into long loaf-shaped logs, it was solid.  During its time on the slab, she could make it any flavour she wanted, adding nuts, fruits, marshmallows, or a stream of peanut butter fudge from a smaller kettle.  If there were lots of children in the crowd, she merely cascaded a handful of multicolored sprinkles along the top, and labelled it "Circus Fudge" or "Rainbow Fudge." It would sell like crazy.

Monday, March 3, 2014

He's On A Mission

We did not even have time to miss this cravat since Brian Williams just wore it Tuesday last.  It is so obviously his Go To Tie, this stripe of cream and nightsky.  "Oh, le sigh," we can imagine Monsieur Williams uttering petulantly whilst surveying the wealth of neckwear inside l'armoire des cravates.  "I'm so very bored by it all.  My first priority is The News.  This--" and here he indicates the contents with an impatient, sweeping gesture, "--all of this is mere falderal.  The people who care about such things are mere dilettantes. Here; here is the tie for today.  It is perfectly fine.  Now," he says as he carelessly knots it up expertly, "now I must go.  News is happening. News is occurring in every corner of the globe, and I must bring it to the American people."

Friday, February 28, 2014

Too Cool

Brian's tie tonight is a cool graphite silk patterned with little ash-coloured amoebae with black centres.  It's interesting and stylish, suave and cosmopolitan.  She checked the address again and frowned.  Why would he send her here to meet the client?  Where in this building would they meet?  It was gallery space, lofts under construction, and a couple of random businesses.  The elevator opened at the top floor and as the doors opened, she gasped.  Behind two massive smoked glass and chrome doors was one of the most sophisticated bars (clubs?) she had ever seen.  As far as she could see, glass, chrome, black walnut, and Chinese silk met her eye in some combination.  Frank Sinatra sang softly, and the only other sound was the occasional clink of ice and glasses and the murmur of voices, mostly male.  She saw him almost immediately, lounging at a booth and talking to a few people.  At the same moment, he lifted his eyes to her, instinctively sensing her presence.  His body never moved; his voice continued without a pause.  She gestured toward an open booth, and he nodded almost imperceptibly.  Annoyed, she sat down and took out her materials, preparing for the meeting.  He probably owned the building and wanted to impress her and the firm.  Big deal.  She was tired of his hipster posturing and hoped he'd approve the latest changes, sign off, and let her go get something to eat.  Sushi, maybe, or a kalamata flatbread at Nicco's. Her stomach rumbled, and she sighed.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Clouded Vision

This evening Brian Williams wears a cravat of dusky violet with widely spaced charcoal stripes.  She caught the last ferry out even though that wasn't the plan, originally.  Nothing, actually, had been according to plan, and she fought to discern exactly what she was feeling.  Anger, yes, plenty of anger, but the choking desire to cry betrayed her sadness.  And shame?  Or was it self-loathing--no, not that strong--but simple embarrassment.  She had been stupid and blind and naive and vulnerable.  Staring mutely at the skyline, she watched as the sun abdicated its dominion to night's purple shadow, the darkening clouds shrouding the light.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Slip-Slidin' Away

Brian decided upon a rather daring stripe of violet blue with narrow raspberry diagonals, the latter being so dramatically pitched that they were almost fully vertical.  So odd they were that I could not stop looking at that tie, almost believing that each time the camera came back to Brian after a segment helmed by, say, the handsome Miguel, that the stripes had skewed a little more downward.  It would not have surprised me at all if, by the end of The Nightly, they had completely righted themselves straight or fallen off the tie entirely.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing...

Hello again, striped tie of creamy white and nightsky.  And ho hum.  You are a lovely tie, to be sure, but part of Beauty's cache is Rarity.  Would we appreciate and covet a sight of the Northern Lights so greatly if we could see them every night?  Would the rainbow be such a gasp should it come after each and every rain?  If lobster were as common as chicken on my dinner table, would I lean back in my chair, close my eyes, and have A Private Joy with each mouthful?  I think not, and I hope I have made my point.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Not Worth It

Brian cannot lay off this particular tie lately, the shiny one bedecked with teensy purple and light something-or-other polka dots? houndstooth? checks? patterning.  Each time I am confronted with this cravat I think of something else; this time it is some cheap doll luggage, made of heavy pasteboard with a thin leather-look veneer glued to it in some ungodly shade of purple.  The lining would be rough sateen that looked like this tie, with globs of glue here and there, puckered, here and there a thread poking out.  It would be on one of those cards with plastic bubbles holding the luggage on, and it would be on a rack on an end-of-aisle clearance display, marked 50% OFF!.  Still no bargain.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Point Of Order

Several Readers of The Report have thoughtfully written emails and asked, "Why have there been no Tie Reports during the Sochi Games?"  Our answer is that as long as Brian's ties are A) playing peek-a-boo under an admittedly quite attractive outdoor jacket; and B) nothing new or interesting to justify a Report, we will simply take a hiatus.  If another newsperson were to wear an interesting/wretched/breathtakingly stylish cravat, we may be moved to report it here.  Otherwise, we are committed to being riveted by the curling uniforms and wondering if elementary school teachers' Christmas sweaters were the inspiration for the Team USA cardigans.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Untold Story

The striped tie for tonight is deep blue with slim white diagonals.  "You're being very brave!" she told the little boy sitting on the gurney in front of her.  She was wrapping his arm in plaster bandages now, forming a cast. Now that the pain and fear were mostly gone, he regarded her with interest, and was watching everything she did.  "Once we get all the white gooey part on, you can pick any color for your cast.  See those rolls over there?  Those are all the colors you have to choose from."  She stepped aside, working deftly and expertly, while the child surveyed the rainbow hues before him.  As she was tucking some soft cotton pads around the bicep, there came a small tap on her shoulder.  "Blue," said his tiny voice in her ear.  "Please.  I want a blue one this time."  Her heart clenched, and her eyes filled with tears.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Secrets At The Altar

Mr. Williams' choice of cravat this evening is a stripe of Carolina blue against a navy field.  He stood at the altar and sweated.  He could feel the perspiration rolling down his back and his underwear sticking to every surface it touched, damp and strangling.  Last night's send-off had been a huge mistake, and now, standing here in a tuxedo-clad row with the rest of the wedding party, sun beating down on them all from a relentlessly blue and cloudless sky with no hope of shade or breeze or any respite at all, he was paying dearly for it.  The sweat broke out on his hairline in small beads that began to trickle down his face.  His wife, looking like a Disney princess among other Disney princesses in blue taffeta, glanced at him worriedly.  His stomach was roiling and he knew his face was grey or green or, at best, white.  He tried a wan smile and hoped the wedding wasn't going to last much longer.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why, Yes, You May Call It A Threat

As we here at The Report try to thaw from yet another Polar Vortex Visitation, it hardly seems worth our while to apply our benumbed and frosty fingers to the keyboard to report on another manifestation of That Tie.  You know the one.  It keeps violating our Fashion Space with its lurid Purply Gleam, its confusing pattern of impossibly small somethings that pulsate and flitter about and defy us at every angle.  Today its dimple is, we begrudgingly admit, quite nice, but not enough to save it.  If it appears once more this month--nay, once more before the first week of February is spent--we are relegating it to The Axis Of Evil.  That is how badly this tie has been used.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Flash Of Brilliance

Looking very dapper, Brian puts together an enviable ensemble featuring a striped tie of charcoal with diagonals of ultramarine blue snugged by slim bands of white.  This cravat is sleek and stylish, a perfect balance of color and brilliance.  He scanned the room full of impeccably dressed elites, trying to find her.  It was almost impossible in this bevy of black.  If only he hadn't had to work so late!  If only she weren't so very petite! If only women weren't so damned slavish to their Little Black Dresses for every single evening function.  Struck by a brief moment of inspiration, he looked down.  In a clutch of cocktail smalltalkers he found a pair of bright blue heels.  He strode toward them, and there she was, martini (three olives) in hand.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Detour In The Running Of The Purples

Imagine our relief when we tuned in this evening and, instead of PurplePurplePurplePurple, we saw pearl grey and nightsky stripes.  Is this tie a wondrous Fashion Accessory?  No. But in comparison to its predecessors, however, it is a Sartorial Life Vest.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Les Faux Pas

Quelle horreur!  This has to be the worst Cycle de Répétition ever in The History Of The Report.  Not only did Monsieur Brian wear this very tie the day before yesterday, but we are certainly having a Running Of The Purples.  This, the shiny purply dotted tie of 15 January and 20 January, makes the third Purple in a row.  Et, malheureusement, it had duelling dimples.  Is something terribly amiss dans chez Williams?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Don't Look Back--Just RUN!

SPT.  Heaven help us all.  We may be in for a Running Of The Purples.

Monday, January 20, 2014

In Which We Acknowledge Our Disillusionment And Loll A Bit

Sigh.  Do us a favour, would you?  Just grab a strong drink and read Wednesday, 15 January's report.  If Brian Williams can be Fashion Lazy, we can be Report Lazy.  (With a heaping side of Great Dismay.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Gypsy Heart

Tonight's tie is like the gypsy cousin of Monday's tie.  The cabled stripes are brilliant magenta on a field of dusky lavender, and the entire cravat has a sheen and shimmer like satin.  "Impossible!" said Grandmamma when she saw the bolts of cloth lying like a bright rainbow across the bed.  "She is still in mourning.  These are completely unsuitable, not to mention scandalous.  The entire county will talk.  Madame Clarens has forgotten herself.  Richmond is not Paris."  Aunt Caroline deftly stepped in front of the fabrics with a cup of tea and nodded.  "Of course, of course.  But it has been almost a year now.  And Susannah is only sixteen.  The Lady's Book allows for mauve or lavender, and this silk here can be suitable," she said, indicating a soft lilac.  "Certainly a plain dress with a modest neckline is fine.  And no adornment, save some fresh roses?"  Susannah thought of the months of black crepe and dim veils that darkened her visage.  Hope bloomed within her.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Old Wives' Tale

Slate blue and creamy white stripes comprise this evening's cravat.  Barely awake, he drank a quick cup of black tea, good Irish tea, and pulled on his clothes and boots.  It was chilly, but not resolutely cold, so he tugged a wool sweater over his head and wound his scarf around his neck.  After a quick breakfast, his horse was ready, and they went out on the road.  As the sun struggled to light the sky, they made their way in the gloom to the cheesemaker's.  Today was the day he would salt-wash the cheeses, giving each white round a good briny dunk in order to help them develop a tough rind.  He opened the door to the drying room, and on their shelves, they looked like moons shining against the lightening sky.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bad Trip, Man

Remember all those terrible movies you had to watch in seventh grade health class during the unit on Drugs?  Some kid would get tired of being yelled at by his mom and dad, and he'd be out walking to The Big Dance or The Freshman Rally, thinking about it and muttering to himself, hands jammed into his pockets, grimace on his face.  A car would pull up and an Unsavory Kid from P.E. class would lean out and say, "Hey, dude!  Ain't you in my gym class?  Wanna ride?"  And the Decent Kid would have a moment of indecision, then hear his mother nagging, and climb into the car as an act of defiance.  They'd end up at a Party full of Drugs, with kids Getting High and acting weird all over the place.  Decent Kid would drink something or take something or smoke something and all of a sudden, there would be a scene of blurry faces, weird lights, flashing colours, and disco effects.  Freaky.  That's all I could think about with tonight's tie of teeny tiny shiny magenta-purple dots? checks? who knows?  Every time he moved even a scintilla, that tie pulsed alive and those two dimples threatened to swallow us up.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

But We're Making The Call

SPT.  This tie is technically not a Solid Purple, I know.  But its pattern is so minuscule that it has become another Purlap cravat.  That chasm of a dimple is quite formidable, I must say.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Novice

This evening's cravat is a lovely offering of Wegwood and egg custard stripes, the latter in a rope pattern.  She cowered in her apron, wishing she could hide behind the huge stainless steel counters.  At the front of the room, she could hear Madame's sharp voice denouncing the failures.  "Non!  Non!  Rien!  Rien!  Quelle horreur!  Qu'est-ce que c'est?"  A moment later, it was her turn.  The knotty and flawlessly manicured finger lifted the meringue off the crust, revealing a small puddle.  "Non!," Madame cried.  She then stuck her finger into the soft golden filling, scraping the crust below.  Her finger came up with raw dough.  "Rien!  Rien!" she said, shaking it at her before moving on.  The cook buried her face in her novice's blue apron and silently wept.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Brian is saving the week by wearing excellent ties at the end of it.  This one is stellar.  Miniscule checks of paprika and ginger blend to make a lovely copper colour.  Sprinkled upon it are circlets of ash blue limned with black.  They had left Madison Avenue and Wall Street and come out to Nevada to learn how to live like people again.  It had not been easy, especially the first year, which they promised would be one of relaxation, rejuvenation, and exploration.  No work.  They found themselves strangers, even to each other.  But soon they found a shared interest, and by year two they had made it a business.  Every day in the workshop, as they hammered and wrought the copper into bracelets and cuffs, rings and earrings, they laughed about what their former associates would say if they saw their "desks" now.  She worked meticulously at mounting the natural turquoise stones onto the metal.  Everything was beautiful.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Crazy Quilt

Even though this particular cravat is what my grandma Ethel would call "busy," I have grown to like it.  It is a lovely summersky blue field with bands of black meshwork further interspersed by stripes of silvery satin shot through with lilac.  It reminds me of sitting next to Grandma when she was piecing her quilts.  Sometimes she would be making two or three at once, and I would help her sort her scraps.  I felt surrounded by personalities, some of them luxurious, some homey and sweet, some plain.  I wanted a quilt made of all of them together, and Grandma laughed.  "They call that a Crazy Quilt," she said.  "Pieces that go every which way and all kinds of material junked up together."  My eyes widened, and I smiled at the name.  That only made me want one even more.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It Would Be A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

After wearing the Elder Cousin of Monday's tie on Tuesday, Brian gets a little cray-cray and pairs the Usual Navy Stripe with a yowza red.  We've seen this cravat before, this navy and red striper from the Ward Cleaver Collection.  For some reason, it always makes me think of Mr. Rogers, and I want to see Brian wear it with a nice, slouchy cardigan.  How lovely would that be, to have Mr. Williams sit in a living room set, comfy cardigan on, delivering the news in a gentle and soothing voice with no cutaways to scenes of disaster or drama?  And Michael Douglas could intone at the top of the broadcast, "This...is NBC Neighborhood News with Brian Williams."

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Is Lackluster Thus Far

Ho, hum.  Bri has plopped on a suitcoat navy tie with slim white stripes.  As one of our small relatives would say, "Whoop De Do."  Not much to rattle our cages now, is it?  And it's not simply the fact that we've seen this cravat thousands of times.  It's a pedestrian tie even if it were new.  We get that It's All About The News for him, but how about something new(er) and more exciting?

Friday, January 3, 2014

In Which I Am Not Above A Little Clever Duplicity

It would seem that Brian Williams did not get any new cravats for Christmas this year.  Tonight he wears a deep navy blue tie with steep diagonals of forest green.  Why, Williams Family, why?  And what about all of you at NBC?  Couldn't you have pitched in and found a really nice tie in all of New York City?  Don't try to tell me that even a street vendor didn't have a decent tie.  Doubtless all of you camerapersons are becoming bored and weary, looking at the same old ties evening in and evening out.  Do everyone a favour and get that man a new necktie!  Make up some story about how your dog picked it out or it was from a NASCAR dog or it was bought from a fireman's charity for rescue dogs or something.  Anything with dogs.  The man is stuck on dogs.  How about this?  "Here, Mr. Williams.  I got this when I was at a Springsteen concert held to rebuild the Jersey Shore boardwalk.  The guy selling it said to tell you hello.  He met you when you did that story on rescuing dogs from Hurricane Katrina.  He still has three of them, he said to tell you."  There.  That should do it.  Now get on it!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


SPT.  After a long Holiday, Brian returns wearing the Purlap Tie.  A dire harbinger for 2014.