Archive for October, 2010


another look

As a sequel to last posting:

Mad Men is finished for the season. How do I know this? I have inside information: Comcast Cable’s On Demand feature. Gotta love it! No more taping. This is the 21st century.

The other day, armed with my remote-control-i’m-in-charge-now, clicker, I decided to check in on Don Draper and the crew of MM. Amazing! Did Matthew Weiner and Writers decide to allow these characters to evolve a teeny tiny bit, or is it just me, in control and zooming on through?

The last two episodes weren’t particularly disturbing—probably a one or two on the 0-10 scale. The last episode was rather engaging in a fairly positive direction, leaving me looking forward to next season.  That, in itself, makes me suspicious. Having spent a few years in the advertising world, I know the bottom line is really about selling product. Cliff hangers do that very well.

Don Draper has his pick of beautiful women, but none have really captivated him. Without warning or forethought, he falls into a relationship that makes him finally feel good about himself. Well, yes…it’s with his secretary, but for the first time in the entire history of the show, he’s a happy fellow. His perpetual five o’clock shadow even looks lighter. The last few scenes have him announcing his engagement to this lovely woman whom he barely knows. Don is happy. His colleagues are shocked and stunned, and the season ends.

Since he lives a deeply deceptive, complicated existence, I wonder how long he will be feeling so good.  I think I’ve been snookered.


can i just say…..

It’s Friday and I really wanted to write this post on Monday when a poor night’s sleep the night before caused  me a full day of misery, but didn’t get to it, so I will have my say today. It’s Friday.

My friend, Queen Bee, when deeply moved one way or another,  precedes a salient point with the phrase: “Can I just say…?” What follows can fall anywhere on the continuum of easy-to-hard-to-hear messages. I don’t expect what I have to say is particularly moving to anyone, so I’m going to borrow from QB and say as she so successfully does: Can I just say…   that I find the popular television show, Mad Men annoyingly unconscionable? Of course the appropriate question is why do I watch it? It is one of the very few well written, well acted programs on that vast expanse of sandy desert called television entertainment. That is why I started watching in its first season. This season I realized that the rank immorality of the entire cast of characters was giving me nightmares, so I began recording the shows to watch during the day when I would not only have time to recover, but could fast-fast forward through whatever I wished. Believe me (if you like), there are scenes one can intuit without any sound at all. This gives me a modicum of control, while still being able to enjoy the several pluses of the show.

Last Sunday was a lovely day and I felt like watching a good show before bedtime. I thought I could handle the mad men and women of Madison Avenue and gave it a shot. It is amazing how little movement toward integrity, and human decency there is in this series. No one moves off dead-center of negativity for any length of time. Each episodes ends with another installment of the tragic, human comedy. I do not find any characters to cheer for. None are particularly likable. All are filled with shadow and longing for a light they cannot see. The majority of them are chain smokers, alcoholics and workaholics with untameable sexual proclivities…a desperate lot. It is a cautionary tale.

I remember the 60’s. I was not working on Madison Avenue, but I was alive and an adult member of society. I do not recall any of this excess. I do recall a general use of Valium, however. People drank and smoked, but if to this extent, I must have been comatose to it. So, what do we have here? Let’s get the details and the credits down before I continue on my rant.

Mad Men, created by Matthew Weiner,  is an AMC production airing Sunday nights at 9 central/10 east coast. Jon Hamm, as the star, plays Don Draper, a handsome hunk of a leading man with a shadowy past and a sordid present. He is professionally successful, but personally without moral compass. This year the writers are throwing in little fish hooks of hope here and there, but the episodes all end in moral calamity nonetheless. This is not entertainment—at least not for me. But the show is immensely popular and has a website, blog and a faithful set of followers. I do not venture onto this website or this blog. I am concerned that I may find even more to rant about. I do not need to take on the angst of the populace. I have enough of my own.

Last Sunday I watched and had a very difficult night of painful dreaming. The next day was a loss in many ways. I slept poorly and that never goes down well for me and my disposition. So this week I will return to my plan of letting the DVR record for discriminant viewing on a day, and at a time when I am ready for Mr. Weiner’s view of life in the 60’s on Madison Avenue. I do wish he would get on with it.


after accounting for the selves

My late-life crisis is nuancing into the light of day. I am relieved. Having stepped outside myself to see my many selves and all those lives they’ve lived, I see progress and that is reconciling. The windy corner is calming and I see the rainbow…most of the time.

A voice speaks to me:

Your days will be an autumn harvest way before winter sets in.

A place at the table is waiting for you.

Follow the raven. He knows the way.

And in so doing, many blessings came my way this past weekend. On Sunday my oldest granddaughter, Miss Green and I spent a lovely afternoon, doing and being. What a lovely bit of gentle light children can be. I can hardly believe I am saying this. How did I get to be old enough to talk this way? That in itself is a mystery. Apparently an additional self has been added to the collection. I shall have to get used to her so I don’t think I am channeling my mother!

Both of my granddaughters attend a bi-lingual school…not Spanish/English…Japanese/English! How extraordinary! Nothing like this would have been in existence way, way, back when I was a child. I am amazed. They are both half Korean, which is really not a whole lot like Japanese except for being Asian. At any rate, they are learning Japanese and bringing home interesting little examples of their lessons with writing I can only look at and admire. Very pretty.

This is my name is Japanese written by youngest granddaughter, Miss Pink (5-1/2).

And this is BD’s name written by oldest granddaughter, Miss Green (8-1/2).

And this is BD’s characterture of them.

And as for me and oncology…I am still in complete remission and might not need another CT/PET scan until January or even March. What luck! Surely, the hairs of my head are truly counted, even the ones that fall to the sink as I comb through in the morning 🙂

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October 2010
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