Tag Archives: The Pantsless Brother

Vermeer: The final tally, with a twist

"The Procuress" by Vermeer, 1656, oil on canvas, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Alte Meister (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister), Dresden/Essential Vermeer

By Laura Grimes

The story so far: The Pantsless Brother has been on a whirlwind tour of Europe, dubbed the Sleep-Is-Not-an-Option Tour, to see 16 Vermeer paintings.

The goal: To take in the final 12 Vermeer paintings that The PB hasn’t seen, out of 34 (some say 36) paintings in the world that can be viewed.

How whirlwind? Ten cities in two weeks.

How sleepless? Nine cities in nine days, but that’s just the Vermeers.

What’s the news? Another unexpected twist put a crimp in his plans.

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Vermeer: Whine, wiener and wrong

"Girl With a Glass of Wine" by Vermeer. Image courtesy of Essential Vermeer.

By Laura Grimes

“Am I sleepy yet? Not a chance. Sleep is for sissies.”

The Pantsless Brother continues his Sleep-Is-Not-an-Option Tour in chasing Vermeer paintings all over Europe. If you missed my first gobsmacked installment, check it out here. (That’s not hyperbole talkin’.)

He’s on a mission to see all 34 (some say 36) Vermeers that can be viewed. Before his trip, he had (only) 12 left on his list. He had nailed down a relentless schedule to see 16 Vermeers in 9 cities in 9 days. (I can’t believe I just typed that, either.) His full tour is 10 cities in two weeks.

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Vermeer: Sleep-Is-Not-an-Option Tour

The Music Lesson, (De muziekles), c. 1662-1664, oil on canvas, The Royal Collection, Buckingham Palace, London. (Image courtesy of the Essential Vermeer.)

By Laura Grimes

It started innocently enough. A simple email from The Pantsless Brother last year pointed out that a Vermeer painting owned by Queen Elizabeth II would be on rare public view in London this spring. The last sentence: “We have to go back.”

I laughed. He was always being funny. As much as I would have loved it, I couldn’t really afford another extended vacation with my brother in London like we enjoyed last spring. To see just one painting?

Then, in early January, I got a note as I was having lunch with our mutual mother. The PB forwarded me a flight confirmation with this personal message: “Are you in? $568 roundtrip: Seattle to London, Zurich to Seattle. The first Hobgoblin is on me.”

I’m sure all I read was, “$568. London. Hobgoblin.”

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What’s in a blog name? Plenty

"Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid" by Johannes Vermeer (c. 1670-1671), National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

By Laura Grimes

The Pantsless Brother has been lobbying for a name change. I’m not sure why. It fits so well (in a pantsless way).

I’m a little reluctant to cave in so easily to the whim of one whiny* reader. I still hold tight to my journalistic ethics. I insist on maintaining a little distance so I can keep my objectivity and my questioning edge. Should I cave? I mean, “I see London, I see France …” just wouldn’t have the same ring if I couldn’t poke fun at his boxers.

But … think Beatles beat now … today is his birthday! So as a little present I’m giving him a name-change story. I can’t put a ribbon on it. I can’t stuff candles in it. It’s not as involved or as painful as, say, a sex-change operation. But just the same, this is a very serious undertaking. This involves a lot of thoughtful consideration and deep soul-searching.

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London you never read: The outtakes

By Laura Grimes

The Pantsless Brother was passing through town recently, but I was prepared this time. Gas or no gas, I found him some pants. Whatcha think?

Party pants for The Pantsless Brother

A clever friend sent the photo to me, and she can’t remember where it came from. Gotta love those flames on top of the head. But is that … smoke coming from those ruffled BVDs?

The Pantsless Brother is now so concerned I’ll further inflame his reputation that he regularly will go on about some crazy tale and then say … “Don’t write about that.” or “I don’t want that showing up in your blog.” or “You don’t get to blog about that.”

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Headed north to feted (not fetid) relatives

By Laura Grimes

Joke's on Uncle The Pantsless Brother!Shhh! Be vewy vewy qwiet! Educational systems are done for the season in these parts and the Large Smelly Boys and I are hoisting secrets in the cargo hold and heading north.

JoJo is beside himself with anticipation to see Uncle The Pantsless Brother again. Daughter of Uncle The Pantsless Brother, otherwise known as Stinkerbell, is graduating from high school. By loose blog association, that would make JoJo and Stinkerbell cousins (she’ll be surprised to hear this).

Also, Mother of Daughter of Uncle The Pantsless Brother, otherwise known, by loose blog association, as JoJo’s Aunt Who is Mother of Daughter of Uncle The Pantsless Brother, recently celebrated a birthday. Yes, seriously, we have relatives to fete. We have feted (not fetid) relatives. We have serious fetting to do.

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London, Part 10: Cheerio, it’s been lovely

By Laura Grimes



“Cheese! Where’s the cheese?”

The Pantsless Brother and I say this nearly every time we scurry through the mazes of the Underground trying to find the right train. We feel just like rats.


It’s time to say goodbye to all the fun we’ve been having. It doesn’t look like the ash cloud is going to favor us with another return to cancel our flights again. I miss Mr. Scatter and the Large Smelly Boys anyway, and JoJo is looking forward to seeing his buddies in the hood.

As I type, The PB and I are sharing one last beer together — the Hobgoblin. Only one beer tonight, not four. And as he put it, “None of that foreplay stuff with the lousy beers. We’re going straight for the (insert sexy word that sounds like origami, but it’s not).”

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London, Part 9: Help! I need somebody!

By Laura Grimes

The Pantsless Brother and I have had lots of fun encounters in London, where everyone has been friendly and helpful. Here are just two, which both happened today. Others deserve their own posts.

At the end meet the umpteen friends JoJo played with today. So many! He was a busy little monkey!


TPB and I visited the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, where The Royal Collection is on public display and exhibits rotate a couple of times a year. The collection is made up of pieces that have been acquired by British monarchs for more than 500 years.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in court dress, about 1854/WikipediaVictoria & Albert: Art and Love is now on display through Oct. 31. A couple of pieces are worthy showstoppers, but it’s the personal stories behind the exhibit that are memorable. Victoria and Albert often gave thoughtful gifts of art to each other and went to great lengths to secretly commission pieces that were of special significance.

Victoria had a portrait made of her for Albert for his birthday. It’s not a formal portrait with fancy clothes and insignia. Her hair is down, her dress is casual and she’s wearing a locket that holds a lock of his hair. It’s sweet and intimate. This was not meant for the masses. It was meant just for Albert.

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London, Part 4: JoJo runs wild

By Laura Grimes

The Pantsless Brother tried to make a dash for the bathroom this morning without getting dressed first. Too late! I see London, I see France …

As it so happens, he was taking the bullet train from London to Paris that very day.


I have reams to write about, but I’m just too pooped, so I’ll only post a few quick impressions to keep the LSBs happy.

JoJo found more friends, this time on a plaque near the Tower Bridge commemorating the 50th anniversary, or jubilee, of Queen Victoria’s reign. Can you find JoJo?

JoJo and a plaque commemorating Queen Victoria's jubilee

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London: Flying high on the blog

by Laura Grimes

JoJo and I say hello from London. Let’s surprise Mr. Scatter by filling him in this way about our travels, shall we?

Editor’s note before I begin: I have The Wimpy Camera and when it comes to camera equipment, even the wimpy kind, I am technically disabled. So my deep apologies in advance. (Some of these photos were taken with The Wimpier Camera, my Blackberry.)


Postcard from London to Portland, London to Portland

When I picked up this postcard from SCRAP in Portland a few weeks back, my friend, Holly, said, “If you send me that from London, I’ll know where it came from.” Well, guess what?


The Pantsless Brother (TPB) has been waylaid by an ash cloud. Regular Scatterers will remember his predicament with gas in his pants so being waylaid by an ash cloud should be considered par for the course for him. In the meantime, I’ll scatter while I wait late at night and try not to drink all the beer before he gets here.


Before JoJo and I left Portland, his buddies in the hood wished him well:

JoJo's buddies from the hood


After having endless trouble checking in online a day before departure I’m happy to report that once I was at the airport I was checked in, through security and had ordered coffee even before Mr. Scatter was back home. Considering we live only a hop, skip and barely 20 minutes from the airport … slick!

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