Apr

13

2014

MAD MEN MEGA POST

madmen_standard-2

If you’re like me (and you gotta be somewhat close if you’re reading this blog), you’re psyched as hell that Mad Men has returned from its approximate 45 year hiatus. Here is everything I’ve ever written about Mad Men, as well as all of my Mad Men videos. Please, enjoy!

From Thought Catalog:

 

Advice from Don Draper

“I’ve smelled things you can’t even imagine. I may have even killed a woman with my bare hands. I can’t remember. I don’t know if it was a fever dream or if it happened, and it doesn’t matter, because it’s gone, it’s in the past, it’s in a place in my mind that I don’t acknowledge, because it has no bearing on my future self. My future self is ready.”

 

65 Best Quotes from Mad Men

“I told him to be himself. That was pretty mean I guess. — Roger.”

 

Mad Men’s Twelve Best Musical Moments

“8. Don shows his kids his childhood home, season 6, “Both Sides Now” by Judy Collins. Don, sick of lying about who he is, takes his kids to see his childhood home – a dilapidated whorehouse in a rough neighborhood. “This is where I grew up,” he tells them, and “Both Sides Now” begins to play as his young son, Bobby, stares at him in total confusion, while daughter Sally gives Don a look that seems to say, “Ahhh it all makes sense now.”

 

Don Draper Pitching 3 Modern Products

Axe Body Spray
“He just got off his shift at the bar with the bowling alley in Brooklyn. Not that one — the other one. He works at the better one, the one with a wider variety of beers, the kinds of beers that contain more fruit extracts than fruit salads. He doesn’t like those beers. He likes a beer he can grip, a beer with a familiar sting after that first hearty sip. Our guy is ready to go home. He’s hot. Physically, sweaty, hot. He’s been getting compliments on his 1985 Phil Collins “No Jacket Required” Tour concert tee all evening. Helps with tips. Sweat encircles his armpits, like a dark merry-go-round. The kind in the carnival on the “bad” side of town. This man is a bad carnival…and women love thrill rides.”

 

From Hello Giggles:

 

Analyzing Mad Men‘s Next Episode Previews

“Pete angrily presses down on the remote control. The remote control is a symbol for his marriage. His frustration to change the channel represents his frustration to change his attitude towards his marriage and his wife.

Then in the next scene, Roger says, “I didn’t know you were capable of being that bad.” Or maybe he says, “mad”, it’s hard to tell, because John Slattery talks into his tie. But it’s obvious that he’s talking not to Don, but to himself. Yes, he is talking to himself, and I don’t mean into a mirror. He is talking about loud, addressing no one but his own shattered ego, and the scared teenager within.”

 

Top Ten Best Mad Men Outfits

2. Betty floral shift dress.

betty draper mad men

This is my favorite dress in the entire show. It’s bright, fun, classic ’60s and perfectly accessorized. I want this dress. No. I want to be Betty Draper. No. Yes. Sort of. I guess what I’m really saying is that I want to be beautiful and drunk all the time.”

 

Gifts for the Mad Men Lover

“The I Hate To Cook Book, $17.42, Amazon.

I love to cook but I love this book. Published in 1960, this is the 50th Anniversary Edition, which proves how beloved this book is. You’ll find easy and classic 1960′s recipes in this book, like “Cheese Balls”, “Fluffy Onion Spuds”, and “Cancan Casserole.” I have a feeling when Betty Francis was Betty Draper, she used this book like it was ready to self-destruct.”

 

From This Recording:

 

In Which We Drink the Clean Draught of Mad Men

“Male. Female. Shallow. Deep. Lie. Truth. These are some of the conflicting themes boldly represented in last night’s tonight’s episode of Mad Men.

Mad Men is like a John Updike piece and a New Yorker cartoon formatted into a television show. It’s not so much a television show as it is a culturally significant piece of art that I am lucky to bear witness to.”

 

In Which We Plan To Advertise In Ebony

“Don Draper is the Kanye West of the 1960s. They’re both creative man-children who get pissy when they don’t get their way. They also look great in shades.”

 

In Which We’re Just Mad Enough To Climb These Peaks

Previously On Mad Peaks…Don arrives with Pete and Roger in Twin Peaks for his business trip. Sterling-Cooper has a new account: The Double R Diner. While stopping in the diner, Don overhears Agent Dale Cooper praise the “damn fine coffee” and comes up with their slogan: The Double R: A Damn Fine Cup Of Coffee. Pete cries.

 

From Apocalypstick:

 

The Mad Men Interviews, Parts One, Two, and Three

 

Videos:

 

If Betty Draper Had A Mac Book from almie rose on Vimeo.
 

January Jones/Betty Draper Impression from almie rose on Vimeo.
 

From my book

 

To read what Mad Men would look like in the 1990′s, check out my book, I Forgot To Be Famous.

 

From Localeur

Most Mad Men Places In Los Angeles

“Feeling like having a very “Mad Men”-inspired evening? Check out these places in Los Angeles. Some of them are straight-up Don Draper; some you can do as Don Draper on a Dick Whitman budget. All of them have that classic 1960s feel.”

 

THE END!

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roger sterling
Mad Men is coming back real soon, so please enjoy this tutorial I made on how to talk like Roger Sterling. Because sometimes, you need to say something that sounds vaguely witty, followed quickly by a drag on a cigarette.

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Posted in: mad men, television, video

grumpy cat positive person

It’s way easier for me to be a negative person than a positive one, and I think that’s true of most people, but I probably only think that because I’m used to being a negative person. I wrote an article for The Gaggle titled “How To Be A Positive Person Written By A Negative One“. I believe in every word I wrote; it’s just hard to follow it sometimes. It’s like a life habit that I’m trying to break.

Q: How many negative people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: “Fuck it, we’re screwed.”

Kanye West once said, “I’m so gifted at finding what I don’t like the most” and I really resonated with that. I am incredibly gifted at finding what I don’t like the most in any situation. And if things are going poorly? I’m ready to flee the city and move back in with my mommy.

My negativity has affected my friendships and my relationship, so it’s definitely something I’m looking to change. I’m trying to change it by changing my habitual negative response. So when I feel like things are going poorly, instead of reflecting on that, I try to focus on what I have, even if it’s a small thing or total duh thing. For example, I have all my limbs. And this isn’t me being a sarcastic bitch, I am honestly grateful for my limbs. I’m a writer, so it’s pretty sweet that I have arms and hands, and I like my legs. Even if I have to start there, that’s where I’ll start.

I’m also ready to change my verbal response when I get questions like, “How have you been?” Instead of saying, “Just dealing with the crushing anxiety in the pit of my stomach every day” I say things like, “I’ve been doing well, how are you?”

Is it a lie to say you’re doing well when you’re not, or is it just positive thinking? I don’t think of it as a lie, I think of it as reinforcing the positive. If I say things are good, maybe I’ll believe that they’re good. And, again, I have all my limbs.

So, if you’re like me, you need to get your shit together. Your friends and loved ones are gonna get real tired of your complaining, if they haven’t already — and guess what, they have. From this moment onward, you need to focus on the good things you have in your life, even if it’s just “I like my hair” or “There’s a new episode of my favorite show on tonight.” It’s okay to start small. You just have to start.

Embrace the good. There’s a lot of it, if you stop being a whining jerk. Remember: life doesn’t owe you anything. It’s up to you to make the best out of life. This year is going to go by whether you do something positive or not. So do positive things, make positive changes, and be positively upbeat that it’s going to work out for you, even if you can’t see the path. Just grab a flashlight and keep walking.

 

Photo of my cat Billie Jean by me @apocalypstick.

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Posted in: i guess this is advice, let's just talk from our hearts

how i met your mother finale

Warning: spoilers abound!

How I Met Your Mother ended its legendary 9 year run last night, and the majority of people are reacting as though they just saw the Lost finale — or even worse, Dexter.

I liked the How I Met Your Mother finale. And here’s why.

The biggest complaint I’m seeing is that people are saying the whole show is “all for nothing” because although Ted found his true love (“The Mother”, whose name we learned was Tracy), she dies, and he winds up with Robin, who we met in the pilot.

First of all, it wasn’t “all for nothing” just because he winds up with Robin. Because the thing is, he let Robin go. Remember when we saw her float away like a horribly CGI’d balloon? It was only because he let her go that he could accept love, and from Tracy, who became the mother of his children.

That’s very important. He was happy with Tracy.

And then Tracy died.

And that’s life. People die sometimes. Is it fair? No. But it doesn’t diminish the time they had together. Those times were very real and very meaningful for Ted. He wasn’t secretly in love with Robin the entire time. He let her go and he started his life. And Tracy dying doesn’t mean that none of it happened. Death is not a reset button, and it’s insulting to someone’s memory to say that it is.

Six years later, he’s telling his kids the story of how he met their mother, which his kids cheekily point out seems more like the story of “how you have the hots for Aunt Robin.” But his kids aren’t mad, because 1. they want their dad to be happy and 2 they can obviously see how much love he had for their mom, which he did. And we shouldn’t be mad either, because we want Ted to be happy, too.

The whole show wasn’t about how Ted met the mother — we learn this at the end of the very first episode (“like I said, it’s a long story). And it is a long story. About how he learned to love, and move on. And just because, six years later, he has the hots for Aunt Robin doesn’t mean he’d trade her for Tracy. He begged for 45 more days with Tracy, remember?

But in life, to quote Tracy, “you have to move forward.” She would want him to move forward.

So he does, with someone who knows him so well — Aunt Robin.

The next biggest complaint I see is people bemoaning Robin and Ted together because they haven’t worked in the past, so why would they work now? How about because they’re in different places now? They’re in their 40′s now. When they met, they were in their 20′s. Do you have any idea what a different person you’ll be when you’re 40 compared to when you’re 27? I’m not saying you’re going to change completely. I’m saying that people grow up. What didn’t work then could easily work now. Robin’s career is in a different place. She’s settled down (we can see that because she has approximately a thousand dogs again). She’s ready.

And Ted is ready. And they’re not crashing in the same car, they’re getting in a new car on a new road. I hope to God I’m a different person at 40 than I am in my 20′s. I hope I’m more secure, more confident, more embracing of the world and all it has to offer. I hope that there will be someone for me outside my window with a blue french horn.

And why is it such a surprise that they wind up together? The show ended how it began, with Ted holding up the stolen blue french horn (must be a great restaurant, it’s been open forever). The difference is that now it can work.

I liked Barney and Robin together until it became pretty clear that Barney didn’t want to get married; he kept making his same stupid sexist jokes throughout their entire engagement. At their wedding, he promised he would never lie to Robin, then immediately lied to her about having a gorilla flower girl. There were signs it wasn’t going to work.

And that’s why I’m not mad about their divorce. Divorce is real, and it happens. Sometimes you don’t even see it coming. That’s life.

In the end, everybody got what they wanted, and what they needed. I’m happy that Robin and Ted are together. He made it rain for her, you guys. He made it rain.

My only problem with the finale? The pacing. By the time Barney found out he was going to be a dad, I couldn’t help but say, “This is weird” out loud. But how good a payoff was that scene when he was saying hello to his baby daughter for the first time? And it changed him in ways marrying Robin couldn’t. Instead of hitting on 2 young women at the bar, he tells them to go home, change their outfits, and call their parents.

There were a lot of years crammed into that 1 hour (technically 40 something minutes, minus commercials) and it made my head spin but then I realized — that’s kind of how life is. And I liked seeing the flash forwards. I liked knowing where they wound up, and technically, they’re not really flashforwards but flashbacks, as Ted has been telling this story to his kids since day 1 and everything that happened on the show was a flashback.

The finale gave me hope that life will always provide for us in ways we may not expect. I wish the show hadn’t spent an entire season on one wedding and that the finale didn’t spend years in an hour, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.

“I really hope you get her someday,” Victoria, Ted’s ex, told him, of Robin.

Ted did it, you guys. He’s happy. Let’s be happy for him.

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Posted in: let's just talk from our hearts, television

how i met your mother

How I Met Your Mother is one of those shows I wouldn’t have given a chance to if someone hadn’t turned it on while I was in the room. The title threw me off — it sounded like a cheesy, silly show. But I was wrong. I was so wrong it was legend–wait for it–dary. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

I can’t believe that it’s ending. Though I got into the show a few years after it premiered, I caught up, and quickly — it was addictive. I’ve been there through all of Ted’s girlfriends, mother material (Victoria) and pure ratings boosters (Katy Perry). I’ve seen all of Barney’s plays, both ridiculous and genius (and some a combination of both). And I’ve suffered through countless Ted/Robin breakups. So here are 10 things How I Met Your Mother taught me, for which I will be forever grateful.

Note: this post was inspired by Simone of Skinny Dip, whose “10 Things I’ve Learned About Love From How I Met Your Mother” is a must read.

10. Everyone needs at least one good friend.

They were lucky enough to be a close-knitted fivesome. Not everyone can have 4 great friends they can rely on. It’s hard enough to make plans with one other person sometimes. But everyone needs at least one good friend to share their triumphs and failures with. Even if it’s your spouse. Lily and Marshall aren’t just a married couple — they’re best friends.

9. It’s okay to be immature sometimes, if it’s all in good fun.

The slap bet. The ducky tie. The “I’m too old for this sh–stuff” list. These were things the gang did that 30 somethings should have abandoned long ago. As I move through my 20′s at a pace that scares the hell out of me, it’s a relief to know that I’m allowed to keep some silliness with me.

8. Just because it looks good on paper, doesn’t mean it’s actually good.

Ted signed up for a dating service and after a long wait, got a result back that seemed to be for his perfect woman. She fit all his requirements. He could check each and every one off his list for “perfect mate”. But he wound up ditching his perfect date in favor of chasing after Robin, who was all wrong for him. It was a lesson Ted had to learn. Just because something looks good on paper, doesn’t mean it’s what you need. Yes, Ted and Robin didn’t work out, but Ted needed to learn that the hard way. Which is another lesson…

7. Sometimes you have to make your own mistakes.

Yes, most of Ted’s friends told him Robin was a bad idea, but he went after her anyway. Lily had to leave Marshall to go to San Francisco to realize how much she needed him. Your friends can talk until they’re out of breath, but ultimately it’s your life and you need to do whatever you need to do. Getting back together with Robin (about a million times) was a series of wonderful mistakes Ted had to make, because it helped him grow and made him realize what, and who it is, he really wanted.

6. “Mother Of Pearl” is a great wedding song.

I’ve always been a fan of Roxy Music, but it wasn’t until a specific moment in How I Met Your Mother that I utterly fell in love with them, and the song, “Mother Of Pearl”. Back on #8, when Ted thinks about giving up Robin in favor of his “perfect on paper” girl, he imagines getting married to her and then seeing Robin at the ceremony watching him with a look of sorrow on her face. That’s when he realizes he wants her, as Bryan Ferry moans, “Oh mother of pearl, I wouldn’t trade you for another girl.” It’s a great moment that stuck with me so hard, I’m gonna have to play it at my own wedding.

5. People can change (read: everybody grows up at some point.)

Barney went from being the biggest jerkiest man slut in all of man sluttington to being a (somewhat) mature married man. People change, meaning that people grow up. “As we mature, the relationship matures with us,” Marshall once said, of his marriage to Lily. It’s true; they weren’t the same people they were when they met in college. It doesn’t mean they turned into incredibly different people; Barney didn’t either. He always had the power to commit, it just had to be when he was ready. So don’t lose faith in people.

4. People are crazy because they’re insecure.

When Ted dated “Blah Blah” (we learned years later that her name is actually Carol), she came off as, well, totally crazy. Her actions inspired Barney to create the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal, AKA, The Hot/Crazy Scale. From Urban Dictionary (yes):

The Vicky Mendoza diagonal is a specific kind of line on the “Hot/Crazy Scale”. The Diagonal runs straight from the bottom left corner to the top right, signifying that the woman in question is crazy, but her hotness balances this out. The Hotter she is the more crazy she is allowed to be.

Blah Blah Carol was crazy, but only because she was clearly intimidated by Robin. It can definitely be intimidating to hang around your boyfriend’s ex girlfriend, especially if he’s still friends with her. She didn’t handle it well, but it was because her insecurities got the better of her. Also keep in mind when Marshall invited Chloe over to his apartment. She wound up trashing his place, but only because he got back together with Lily. No, I’m not condoning her actions, but I can understand why she did it: she was insecure about his relationship. Insecurity breeds craziness.

3. It is shockingly easy in life to part ways with people forever.

Older Ted (read: Bob Saget voice) tells his children, “You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever.” And I went “oof” and wrote about it, because it’s so true. Relationships of any kind take commitment. If you really want to keep someone in your life, you have to work at it. How many times have you told a friend, “Let’s totally hang out sometime!” only to never actually totally hang out? To quote comedian John Mulaney, “Percentage wise, it is 100% easier not to do things than to do them.” So if there’s a friend you want in your life, let them know it. Make plans with them and keep them.

2. Relationships are about getting close — sometimes too close for comfort.

Lily and Marshall prided themselves on never peeing in front of each other — which changed in season 1. By the end of the series, they’re shouting at each other from the bathroom and talking about Lily’s bowel movements (“I don’t control when my deuces happen Marshall, deuces are wild!”) Barney used to step outside of his apartment building just so he wouldn’t have to fart around his fiancé (at the time), Quinn. But eventually he realized how ridiculous that was, and she confessed she’d been using the balcony for her “me time”. If you’re going to be in a committed relationship and live together, you’re eventually going to have to deal with stuff like that. But it’s okay. It’s normal.

1. Make the most out of every minute.

The scene that got me hooked on How I Met Your Mother was Ted’s “2 minute date”. Stella, Ted’s dermatologist, tells Ted she can’t date him because she doesn’t have time to date — she only gets, “like 2 minutes for lunch.” So Ted puts together an entire date in 2 minutes, timing it to perfection, from dinner to the movies to coffee, all set to Big Star’s “Thirteen”. It’s a wonderful moment and it shows that you can do a lot in 2 minutes. Yes, it’s a TV show (I mean obviously, and that should go without saying) but it’s a reminder that you should make the most out of every minute. If you really love someone, 2 minutes is worth savoring. And that goes for life. We should make the most out of every moment that we have.

What did YOU learn from How I Met Your Mother?

 

 

Photo: CBS via Zimbio

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Posted in: dating, television

Above cocktails: French 75, made by me. And yes, they were good.

So, I feel like I could chronicle my life in cocktails. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Here are some cocktails I make on a semi-regular basis that describe my life. I’ve included the ingredients in case you’d like to make them yourself.

The “I’ve Given Up”

INGREDIENTS: 

  • coconut water
  • whiskey
  • ice
  • a deep sense of failure

This is what you make when you’ve run out of everything except whiskey and coconut water. Surprisingly, they’re not terrible together. No, they’re not amazing together either. They’re fine.

The “I Feel Skinny”

INGREDIENTS:

  • cheap vodka
  • soda water
  • lemon or lime wedge
  • ice
  • the belief that you’ve actually lost weight, even though it’s really just your stomach forcing your pants down your body that makes them feel loose.

Yes, this is basically just a vodka soda, and yes,  I was inspired by Louis C.K. who noted that when his stomach gets big, it shoves over his pants, pushing them down, making him think he lost weight. “I did it,” he says, “I ate my way to the other side, I did.” Oh man, I feel you, Louis.

The “I’m Sick And Also Sick Of Everything”

INGREDIENTS:

  • hot water
  • chopped garlic, or a bulb of garlic if you’re lazy as hell.
  • fresh lemon juice
  • ginger (ground or fresh)
  • cayenne pepper (ground)
  • honey
  • whiskey
  • a profound sense of sadness

My friend Ben recommended this drink. I get sick a lot with colds or sore throat maladys, and this really helps clear congestion and makes me feel like I’m actively doing something to be not sick anymore. Forgive me, I sound like a graduate of the Derek Zoolander School of Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn Do Other Stuff Good Too.

The “Life Is Going Really Good For Me”

INGREDIENTS:

  • vodka
  • cocktail onions
  • cocktail onion juice
  • a whisper of vermouth
  • a false sense of security

Yes, this is just a dirty vodka Gibson, but it’s my favorite cocktail. It’s surprisingly hard to find in bars because no one has cocktail onions because this isn’t 1925 and it’s not a bar for grandfathers. But I love this drink. The whisper of vermouth is crucial. You could make like Winston Churchill and go up to the drink and whisper “vermouth” or just make it so dry you leave the vermouth in the other room. You get the joke here? You don’t add vermouth.

The “Fridge Surprise”

INGREDIENTS:

  • whatever mixer you have
  • whatever hard alcohol you have
  • a dose of “LOL fuck this”

I think we’ve all made the Fridge Surprise at some point in our lives. How creative can we get with our cocktails, as we stare into a fridge of margarita mix and an apple, we wonder. The Fridge Surprise is kind of a metaphor for life, really. We never know what we’re going to find in the fridge, but we’ve got to make the best out of it.

I’m sorry if you don’t drink; this was not a fun post for you.

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Posted in: i don't even know, that's disgusting

friendship

How I Met Your Mother is so good at being “real life” sometimes. They’re wrapping up the series and in this particular episode, they show what happens to all of the minor and secondary characters, while The Kinks sing “Where Are They Now?” over an uninterrupted 3 minute shot of each character in their little setting with narration over it. Very Wes Anderson. And then the narrator finishes with this:

You will be shocked, kids, when you discover how easy it is in life to part ways with people forever.

And I went, “Oof.” Not out loud, but who knows, maybe it was out loud. I’m getting to that age where I’m less aware of what I say out loud. Which makes it sound like I’m getting to the age of 84. I am not.

But I am getting older, and I’m discovering some things about getting older that really suck. Things beyond having to use extra cash to buy boring shit like toothpaste. Things beyond worrying about paying bills, like some stupid country song you’d hear on the radio for 4 seconds because you changed the station too fast because it’s such a cliché. No, I mean things like that above quote from How I Met Your Mother.

It really is shockingly easy to part ways with people forever.

And I’m not sure how to feel about that.

Part of getting older is realizing that every relationship — even, if not especially, those you have with your friends — take work. You take your friendships for granted. You think they’ll always be there. Then somebody moves. Or goes to grad school. Or gets married. Or changes careers. And suddenly, no one has time for anyone anymore. And you become one of those thousands of people who say things like, “I’m sorry, I’m just swamped.” (Hint: do not EVER tell anyone you are “booked”. You are not a dentist’s office. You are a person. People cannot be booked. Got it? Good.)

You have no time for seeing your friends anymore, and they don’t have time to see you. You’ll go back and forth with calls and texts and emails and then one day you’ll finally catch up and it will be wonderful and you’ll say you have to do it again…and then you don’t. Ever. And then they move to New York or get married and maybe you’ll be invited and maybe you won’t, and that will be the end of it.

That’s just how it gets when you get older. And no one told me that. No one told me that when you get older, you have to work harder on your friendships. I don’t even know if I have a best friend anymore. I think those went the way of Lisa Frank stickers and Happy Meals — they faded into my youth. I’m just a boring adult who is struggling with work and money and being an adult.

So if I tell you I want to hang out with you, please, hold me to it. I’ll do my best, and I have anxiety about driving, but I’ll try real hard. Because the problem with forever is that it’s pretty damn permanent.

I miss you, Simone.

Photo by Nina Leen, 1950, via LIFE Photo Archives for Google.

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Posted in: friends, let's just talk from our hearts, television