I wish cowboy boots were back in style.

Once upon a time, back in the early 80's, cowboy boots were in style. I alternately loved and hated this, for a few reasons. Let me start by telling you that I wore cowboy boots pretty much exclusively from 7th grade until I was a senior in high school. For four long years, I took a lot of shit for wearing them, because nobody else did. I didn't tell anyone why, but they probably figured it out anyway. It was my answer to being short.

The cowboy boots gave you an extra two or three inches in height, and once platform shoes went out of style in the late 70's the western footwear was my only option that didn't involve me slow dancing with my face buried in my girlfriend's boobs. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, however it did make hugging her mom pretty awkward.

When the Urban Cowboy movie hit in 1980, suddenly everyone was wearing cowboy boots, and my days of artificial heightening were over. I was back to being short on the relative scale, but on the bright side, at least nobody was making fun of me for wearing cowboy boots anymore.

You're probably asking yourself why I'm telling you this. The answer: Socks. It all has to do with socks. Because I wore high cowboy boots for so long, I got used to wearing high socks. You can't wear short socks inside cowboy boots because it just feels weird. Eventually the entire sock will end up as a sweaty cotton lump crammed into the toe of your boot and this is obviously not comfortable. So I would buy those over-the-calf gym socks that went almost up to my knees because they never fell down.

So that brings us to today. I still wear high socks. Yes, I'm a geek. To be fair, I don't wear them to the gym, and I only wear them with long pants. I just cannot wear short socks. They drive me nuts. I can't stand the way they feel, like they're always bagging up on me and threatening to fall down. I swear, I should just get a pair of these:

As a result, my wife is always on the hunt for what they call "full length" gym socks instead of what they commonly refer to as "calf-length" which makes no fucking sense whatsoever, because, as far as I know, your calves normally go all the way up to your knees whereas these piece of shit socks do not. They should call them "half-calf socks that fall down every 30 seconds so you have to stop whatever you're doing and pull them up again" but then nobody would buy them.

She's come home with dozens of different brands over the years. Some start off with potential, but then they turn out to be a letdown. The elastic goes, they're just a bit too short, or something is wrong in the toe area. (She once brought home socks that had rectangular toes. They were basically tubes that were sewed straight across on one end.) Then these rejects sit in one of my drawers collecting (or is that making?) lint.

Sometimes when we need to do laundry, I'll be forced to dig into the drawer of hideous cast-offs because there are no other socks, and today was one of those days.

Today, I was reminded that not only has she come home with rejects that were too short, but also these, which I am wearing as I type this:

They are practically support hose. Ridiculous. I have to fold them in half just so I can bend my legs. They do make me feel kinda sexy though.


I'm going to share this last item with you because it made me laugh. If my boss is reading this, it seriously took me about 60 seconds to do, so don't dock my pay. It turns out I'm practically Eminem.

I'm on a team at work that has the acronym of EME, or Electronic Messaging & Engineering. We currently use an old version of Lotus Notes, and are planning on upgrading soon. This morning, one of the guys on my team who is in charge of this upgrade wrote an e-mail message to everyone this morning because he was going to be a little late. It looked like this:

I am running late be in by 8.

I couldn't just let that go. So, obviously, I did what anyone would do and immediately sent him this reply:

Don't hate
Just because I deviate
from the arbitrary time
of Mr. Slate
The man
who pays my rate
while I create
the orderly state
of EME while my
peeps wait
for the date
they get Notes 8.


He didn't answer my email. I think it's because he's a lot younger than me and might not know who Mr. Slate is. At least that's my theory.

P.S. - Thank you to everyone who has bought the book so far. It's doing pretty well, considering I don't know what the hell I'm doing in regards to promotion. And thanks for the typo lists. I'll be fixing them in the print version in a week or so. The Kindle version should already be fixed.


  1. I'm waiting with anxious anticipation for my copy. I don't have kindle or that stuff. I spend enough time reading your blog on a screen - I'd like to get away from the light & stretch out on the couch with a good book. I'll review it on Amazon even though I bought it through your site. love & happiest of what ever it is you celebrate in this "global warming freezing balls off season". love to all your family. wv:grach - wtf does that mean? seems like it should be a word of some sort.

  2. You are the Mr Pitt of Blogtown.

  3. Thanks Lorriane!

    Colin, I totally am.

  4. Someday, when you're old enough, I'll tell you the story about how I had to puke in my cowboy boot in the car on the way home after a particularly rowdy New Year's Eve party, and then hold the top of it shut until my friends could get me to a McDonald's restroom to dump it out. Then I had to wear it home.


  5. In the town of Bedrock - seriously your co-worker is too young to know who Mr. Slate is? Frightening.

    And for the socks - my husband also prefers very long socks - Wigwam Six Footers are what he wears, but I fear that your last photo might show how they would fit someone under Six Feet Tall? :)

  6. My amazon copy is coming tomorrow. I can't wait!! I even got free shipping! I am after all saving for one of your wife's awesome hat creations, so that helps. :-)

    And, since I am a grammar/typo nazi, I will be happy to give you feedback if I run across an error.

    Mr.Slate? That's too funny.
    (Assuming it is the guy from the Flintstones...otherwise, I have know idea what your rap is about)

  7. I've never seen knee socks (for men) that go OVER the knee. Maybe that will come into fashion soon and you can comfortably dress like that in public. On a side note, I received my much appreciated SIGNED copy of THE BOOK. Although initally I had a hard time deciphering your scribble at the front, I finally figured it out. Now I'm regaling my co-workers with your youthful escapades and I'm the break-time story-telling hero!

  8. This is neither here nor there, but I always pictured you tall.

    Tried soccer socks? Maybe I am freakish and strange, but some of my favorite most comfortable socks are soccer socks.

  9. I can only wear short socks, regardless of the shoe. Different strokes, I guess.

  10. So, I am new to reading your blog and must confess I haven't purchased your book but, anyway...

    Why do you care if cowboy boots are in style - wear 'em anyway! (Unless, of course, you plan on stuffing the legs of your pants into the tops. That is a Seriously Bad Idea.)

    Forget soccer socks - way too long.
    Try baseball socks.

    So, um... about this book thingy. Did you self-publish? I'm curious 'bout that whole thing, actually. Can we talk?

  11. Those socks are totally gay, and so are you. But I'm okay with both.

    I got the kindle version; hope to read it over the holidays under the guise of "work." Because I can only stand my children for so long.

  12. Niltac9:16 AM

    Gold Toe Over the calf socks. That's all my husband wears! They also have dress (black/navy)socks that are over the calf!

  13. My husband is impossible to buy socks for, which I always thought was because he is high maintenance. But I guess there is more to sock-buying and sock construction than I realized.

    Your Eminem riff rocked.

  14. Dan Post boot socks from Boot Barn. I too wear cowboy boots. But mostly because of my horse. They work well with stirrups and spurs. Anywho, I highly recommend the Dan Post socks. You will love them.

  15. kristina1:07 PM

    Nice socks.

    Nice knees!

    I prefer ankle length sport socks, as they never slide down... but those probably aren't manly enough for you (unlike what you have pictured here, of course...).

    Pick a package / Man packs - I thought I was going to get to pick out a man and he'd be sent to me in a package. So disappointing... although, what it really is seems wonderfully practical.

    Awesome rap, dude!

    wv: crier Who's been talking out of turn?! Boo hoo...

  16. over the knee socks...had to avoid those myself today whilst shopping @ TJ Maxx for last minute gift items.

  17. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I really HATE it when socks feel too tight across the toe, like they're constricting my toes from flexing and holding them back. I know it's probably not that bad, but it really does feel as though they make my toes curl under. There really is nothing like a good comfortable pair of socks!

    As for the boots, probably half the people here in Central Alberta wear cowboy boots as about half of us own horses. They're just as stylish around here as all the weird shoes that folks in the city wear.

  18. Damn dude!

    Those socks be sexay!

    Only thing missing is a short plaid skirt and white button-up shirt tied in a knot.

    I'm an ankle socks wearer.

  19. brianh2:12 PM

    Socks that don't stay up are called "quitters".

    Keep up the good work JV!

  20. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Erm... Your wife shops for socks for you?

  21. Wait??? Cowboy boots are out of style? All my coworkers must seriously think Im nuts.

    Well, actually, I worked at a western wear store for two years prior to my current job, plus I love the look of boots under nice jeans, compiled with the fact that they are the ONLY footwear I have found to fit my abnormally wide feet for a woman. I dont need the extra height, as you do, however I do love the knowledge that at any moment I am ready to jump on my (or anyone elses) horse. I think my boots set me apart as being unique and are clearly an expression of who I am.

    I hear ya on the socks tho - OMG!

  22. I had no idea cowboy boots were ever either in OR out of style - I thought they were just what people wore/wear. I guess Texas really is a whole 'nother place.

    And that man pack thing - seriously, how lazy are some people?

  23. Those socks remind me of this dude: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Louis_XIV_of_France.jpg.

  24. KK, I did that in a styrofoam cooler once. But I didn't have to wear it afterward.

    Tricia, I thing wigwam 6 footers would probably come up to mid-thigh on me.

    MTB, yes, the flintstones boss man. I have a list of typos already but send any you find to my email address. Thanks!

    Jen, sorry, I'm not too good at Pen writing. I haven't written long hand since I discovered I could type faster than I could write.

    Jillian, I'm a little over 5-6 so..not tall. Dammit.

    BG. Damn short-socker.

    Christie, I don't wear them now. I wear hiking boots, mostly. Check out createspace.com.

    Muskrat, I'm with ya. I can't stand your kids for very long either! Let me know what you think.

    Niltac! I have some of those. They are awesome, and I plan on replacing every sock I own with them. They are not, however, cheap.

    Brutalism, you are correct. There's a ton of bad, bad socks out there.

    Joy, I should probably get a horse.

    Kristina, I wear those with my sneakers. Not the ones with the little pom pom on the back.

    Ed, even with dress shoes? Because hairy ankles and dress pants don't work for me. The rest sounds like my wife when she was in catholic school.

    Anon, I hate that too.

    brian, that's a good name. I'm stealing it.

    Dorius, hell yeah. You think I'm shopping? If I weren't married, it would be manpack.com all the way.

    KC, I have some bad news for you. Ten gallon hats and string ties? Also out.

  25. Anonymous9:53 PM

    HAHAHA! I had STEEL TOED COWBOY BOOTS! How 'bout them apples? I wanted a pair of cowboy boots, work would buy my any steel toed boots, so I got a pair of cowboy boots, and continued to wear last years pair of perfectly good work boots on the job so I didn't mess up the nice new cowboy boots!

    And OMG I hear you on the sox! If only I had a personal shopper to handle my socks shopping!

    Wait a sec, if you only wear long socks with long pants, then ou aren't wearing pants in that picture! OH MY!

    The book is great, reading it a second time already!

    Peace <3

  26. Two words: Exchange Server. Seriously. Even my state university finally gave up on Notes. Oh, and I've totally been thinking lately about getting some cowboy boots lately. I wore them in the roadie days, and most people don't realize how comfortable they are. And how awesome they look with jorts and thigh high athletic socks.

  27. Cowboy boots are out of sryle? Ah well who pays attention to style anyhow. One of the reasons my wardrobe consists almost entirely of stuff from Eddie Bauer, this years line is pretty much the same as it was 20 years ago...

  28. Note to self: learn to proofread, also buy some bleach to wash the image that Chris' post about jorts and thigh high socks has left in my brain out of it...

  29. Thorlos has a category "over the calf" - and they are on sale and free shipping:

  30. Dan Henry9:39 PM

    JV - Got the book as a Christmas present today & read it cover to cover today. It was laugh out loud funny!! Thanks for being a storytelling genius!

  31. a.) I only wear long socks too.
    b.) your coworker didn't answer your email because I'm pretty sure he doesn't know that there is a button called "Reply" in the toolbar.
    c.) my word recognition word is "terke"
    d.) I won't dock your pay because you weren't working but I might because it sucked.

  32. Anonymous2:19 PM

    This is difficult to believe - a tech guy with sartorial excentricities?!

    Dave -who must always remain anonymous, what with being unable to ever remember his stupid account passwords.

  33. Anonymous6:25 PM

    JV, have you tried Lands End? I am married to a man, who while not vertically challenged (6'), definitely has sock issues, especially in the winter*. He likes 'em high as well. Lands End makes some very nice 100% wool dress socks that he approves of. I've managed to scoop them up on sale around this time of year. I also personally can vouch for their longevity, as he's had them for almost 8 years and they still look fine, even when I forget to not air-dry them. I myself have some cotton socks of theirs that are super-comfy and virtually indestructible (not high, tho).
    (* His deal is he changes the damn things three times a day, utilizing different weights and footwear - he is able to do this since he works at home - and I wind up with a house littered with sneakers, boots and socks. Grrrr.)

  34. Nice socks! I bet thats not a compliment you hear very often.