My Java Journal

Blue Jeans, Baby: Loose Ends, Loose Threads

Blue jean[s] baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band … (Tiny Dancer, Elton John)

After 15 years these trusty blue jeans will now get a rest.

It’s time to tend some loose ends; or rather, loose threads, in this case.

I began this blog to chronicle my dream to open a coffeehouse. That coffeehouse dream is very much alive, but my path has since veered somewhat as I have pursued this goal. Most of my blog posts are stand-alone, one-off posts, but a few have introduced ideas, paths, or topics, that need updates; they are loose ends.

The most inquired about loose end has been my declaration to pursue a mobile coffee shop based out of a 70’s VW bus. That’s a big one, and I am long overdue to post an update.

Of course, I also started sharing how I had begun my Happiness Project at the start of 2019. This project continues, but it has been inconsistent and I’ve not refreshed this path in a while either.

I had introduced the book club that was begun with some friends, and we’ve since met again and are onto our second book. Certainly an update is due here as we approach the next meeting in July to discuss that second book.

One topic I didn’t share on my blog, but rather posted on my associated Instagram account was a farewell to my beloved blue jeans. I was preparing to throw away these jeans until I was convinced by Instagram comments to, and appropriately, memorialize them.

There is a lot to share here, including a new Open Mic at a different coffeehouse in Ottawa and upcoming Class of 91 shows. I think the best way to tackle these updates is one topic a week through July. So, without further ado I will start with the easiest  – those blue jeans, baby.

My Favourite Blue Jeans

“I want to die with my blue jeans on.” – Andy Warhol

I posted a picture, similar to that shown, on Instagram back in January 2019. At the time I was just starting The Happiness Project and had also decided to try the minimalist clothing challenge, Project 333. I subsequently gutted my collection of clothes clearing out an entire closet section, half a wardrobe, and opened up tons of space in my dresser. I wasn’t throwing much out as I was only intending to store it for a few months. That said though, a few items were beyond repair and destined for the grave; my favourite blue jeans were one of them.

These blue jeans were bought in about 2004. Lucky Brand was a new brand to me and these jeans were just so darn comfortable. It marked for me a return to button-fly and aged jeans; without the tears and vulnerability of the newer ‘aged’ jeans today. When it comes to jeans I am picky. I tried on a lot of pairs before I found these ones. The size I needed, on this day, was only available in a display pair. The retail staff were kind to pull this specific pair down from a display for me as they worked with me to find a pair that fit. The display was showcasing the durability of these jeans after 50 washes, and they were so comfortable. The conversation after trying them on went like this:

Me: “I’ll take them!”

Lucky Brand employee: “Oh. You can’t have these ones, they’re display only.”

Me, kindly: “I’m walking out with these jeans.”

LB employee: ” Let me see what I can do.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Lucky Brand manager: “Sorry, man, we can’t”

Me: “Surely you will take my money and let me walk out with these jeans. I need these jeans.”

LB manager: “Let me see what I can do.”

Me: “Thank you.”

After some phone calls to head office, the manager returned and said he could sell them to me, but, I would have to sign a waiver and indemnification form. You can imagine how long all this took. Suffice, I walked out with those jeans.

My blue jeans in happier days, but with clear signs of patchwork begun, Disney Marathon 2013.

Between 2004 and 2010 those jeans saw two war zones, many hikes, much daily abuse and too many (more) washes. In 2010, while living in Florida, they were further stressed with thousands of miles in the saddle of my Triumph motorcycle. After the knees had finally given I applied my first patch. More followed quickly. It wasn’t long before the jean material at the edges of the patches started to fail. More patches, inside and out.

A seamstress friend took them at one point in 2013 and added more patches, and this time stitched those patches and holes back together. Every effort was made to keep them alive, but by 2018 I could no longer put them on without another fault line giving and more leg, underwear, ass or knee being exposed.

What now then? Shadow box! That’s right, as part of The Happiness Project, the month of April propounds to Be a treasure house of happy memories and to Take time for projects. Saving these blue jeans meets these objectives. I will have this blue jeans project, and these memories preserved soon and will share the final result during this update stretch of posts.

On a final note, check out my Home page for upcoming events. I will be hosting a new Open Mic and my band, Class of 91, are ramping up for our second show.