Monday, August 30, 2010

Mad Men #6: It's a relief to see someone worse than me!

OK, before I get to the mondo weirdness that happened on the Men last night, let me first begin with an unhinged rant about the Claremont Resort and Spa in Berkeley, California.

It goes like this: fuck you, Claremont Resort and Spa. First of all, the room that we got for our discounted rate of $180 was almost smaller than any other hotel room I’ve ever stayed in, including in Lower Manhattan. The only potentially smaller one was in London, and I think it was cheaper. But hey, at least the closet was fucking huge! Should have pulled the bed in there and luxuriated. Also, the fuck is up with the $24 “facility fee”? The facility is the fucking hotel, which I just paid $180 a night for, you jackass. And $24 to park overnight? You guys just love the way “$24” sounds, right, because you just keep adding it. To sum up: blow me.

OK, on to the show. Jane’s brother or cousin or something is trying to get a job. He’s a weird little weasel who puts other people’s ads in his book. He’s an appli-can’t. See what I did there? PA-POW!!! Roger’s funny again and not as racist. “I told him to be himself. That was pretty mean, I guess.” Fucking ZING. How much fun would it be to hang out with Roger at Tosca or Top of the Mark for about an hour? Martinis are on me. Especially if they cost 25 cents like they did in 1965.

Oh, yay, it’s a flashback that doesn’t involve a mule or that goldarn truck that weren’t start or some other Okie shit. No, here we see The Creation Myth, in which Roger comes to Don’s fur store and is very mean to Don! He buys a mink for Joan, whose hair in this flashback is not really all that inspiring. It makes me a little sad. Anyway, Don’s going to totally stalk Roger for a while now. This is how people did it before Facebook. You had to do your stalking in person. Like a man.

One of our main plots this week is Peggy working on the Vick’s campaign with Edgy Art Guy, who you can tell is edgy because he’s wearing a leather jacket. He’s also a fucking tool. Anyway, Pegs and Edgy Art Guy are involved in the weirdest scene so far this season. Now, if I said “Peggy and a guy in a leather jacket and a stupid smirk get naked in a hotel room with some Vick’s Vapo-Rub,” you’d be thinking “safeword,” not “writing some killer copy,” right? But that’s what happens and that’s about it except for some small penis jokes. I wasn’t crazy about this whole plot in general but I’m sure it’s Very Important. Basically any scene without Joan in it bores me a little now.

Here we are at the Clios! The Clios take place in the middle of the day? At least it’s Friday. Oh, there’s Duck! Back on the sauce. That’s the Duck we love. He gives the Clios a good go-around and gets escorted out. Ted Chaouaough shows up with, oddly, a Major General in tow. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could hire Generals to hang around with you and like go to Zeitgeist with you or bowling or whatnot? Anyway, the Sterling Boys win for the so, so weird Glo-Coat ad BUT WAIT we have to rush back to the office because the Life Cereal people are there!

Whoa, everyone is shitty drunk. Don has three hairs out of place so he’s obviously totes wasted. Mikey hasn’t been invented yet or killed in Vietnam so we have to make up a different campaign for Life cereal. Oh, wait, Mikey supposedly died from mixing Pop Rocks and soda. What? That's stupid. Mixing pop rocks and heroin, maybe. Anyway, Don suggests “Life is like a box of chocolates” but everyone looks confused because Tom Hanks isn’t a retard yet. Neither is everyone else who paid to see that P.O.S. Then Don totally steals the Appli-Can’t’s “Cure for the Common Breakfast” business and everyone loves it. This means they have to hire that little fuck. Wow, is he ever small! Small like a fox. Wait, that doesn’t mean anything. I shouldn’t inhale these Glo-Coat fumes.

Next we see Don and Roger and Joan in their Native Environment, which is a bar. Faye shoots down Don. He has Lost His Mojo and now has to sleep with the Cake Mix Girl to get it back. Roger almost picks a fight with General Demeanor, who points to his Ass-Kicking Ribbons and then has to leave because Ted’s leaving. But wait! Don obviously goes on some kind of bender because he goes to bed with Cake Mix but wakes up with Doris the Waitress who calls him “Dick.” Capital-D Dick. What the fuck happened here? Don is clearly Out of Control.

We wrap up the whole flashback thing with Don showing up for work and telling Roger that he said “Welcome aboard” when Roger said no such thing. This is just like on Seinfeld when George just showed up to work after Mr. Tuttle never told him whether he got the job or not! Except that George doesn’t spend all day drinking and banging waitresses. That would have made Seinfeld much, much better, though.

You know how people are giving their kids old-fashioned names like Rose and Mabel and Hazel? Dottie still hasn’t caught on yet, has it? Maybe this episode will do the trick! Gertrude’s not coming back either. Oh well.

Friday, August 27, 2010

If San Francisco neighborhoods were Impressionist painters and/or highly salted snacks

Over at Mock Duck, Dan helpfully points us towards his post comparing European countries to U.S. states. To wit:

Czech Republic = Ohio. Industrial, Midwestern, practical. Both have a tendency towards tiny bath towels– no, wait, that’s only Czech.

France = New York. Both have capital cities that were once the center of the world but are now of diminished global significance. Both tend to live in denial of this fact.

Netherlands = Massachusetts. Small, progressive, mercantile, weirdo. Similar strange mixture of ideological open-mindedness and conservative impulses.

This immediately made me think:


The Marina: Renoir, Quakes

Upper Haight: Cool Ranch Doritos

Lower Haight: Funnyuns, Pissarro

The Sunset: Lay's Regular, Guillaumin

North Beach: Monet, cocaine

The Mission: Manet

Russian Hill: Monet, Rold Gold Classic Style Rods

Have a good weekend, everybody! I'm going to a wedding in Oakland (Caillebotte, Bugles). Weddings are good because everyone is trying to look good and there's usually free food and booze. And for once, it's not me getting married! Kidding. Sort of.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Giants feast on the skulls of their enemies; more on page 2

I will not blog about the weather. I will not blog about the weather.

No, I am here to talk about YOUR SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS and their CRUSHING VICTORY yesterday. In the past 2 days, they have scored over 102 runs while homering 26 times and holding the Reds to CONSTANT HUMILIATION. Everyone homered 3 times and Jonathan Sanchez gave up a couple of homers just to lead them on and make them think they were in it.

What's that, Cincinnati Enquirer? Giants again pound Reds, 16-5? That's right. Pablo Sandoval grabbed a 32-ounce bat, walked out to the pitcher's mound, and LITERALLY BEAT TRAVIS WOOD TO DEATH WITH IT. Paramedics arriving on the scene called it a "horror" and said "Normal, functioning humans should never have to look at something like that. I'm going to get sick. Get out of the way unless you want paramedic vomit on you."

You think this doesn't feel good? Were you sitting next to me freezing your fucking ass off in May when they lost 7-3 to the fucking Nationals? How about when they scored ZERO FUCKING RUNS against the Rockies and Blue Jays and God, yes, the Dodgers, and even the Cards just this past Sunday? Remember that? That fucking sucked ass. So yes, permit me to gloat a little.

I don't know if this is a playoff team or if last night was an aberration but I can tell you it felt nice to sit on my Comfy Chair with all the doors and windows in my house open sweating like a motherfucker and drink a few beers and watch my offense-starved team score runs like the 1936 Yankees.


[UPDATE: Somebody bought the tickets pictured above ALREADY. FUCK. Well, I guess I'll just stay at my stupid JOB and PRETEND TO WORK like every other day.]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mad Men #5: Riding the Honda

This episode was all about masturbation and Peggy riding a Honda motorcycle in a circle, although not at the same time.

So here’s what I want to know: Which sitcom is missing a sassy, wisecracking old secretary? Because Miss Blankenship seems like she just wandered in from the set of “Rhoda" or something. Sure, she’s a hoot, but it’s weird. Anyway, tonight our main plot is about getting the Honda account. Pete likes it. Roger doesn’t like it because he was in WW II and is still mad. Bert likes it because he’s already a big fan of tentacle porn and sake bombs. Hey, I’ve got an idea about how to make this work for everybody! Get the account and then do an ad with a kamikaze motorcyclist! Win-win!

Don’s got the kids but he’s going out with Bethany so he gets Neighbor Nurse to do some babysitting. She doesn’t do a very good job and Sally gives herself what is actually a pretty fashion-forward, choppy kind of cut with a lot of layers. Sally is now eligible to become the lead singer in a Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover band. Unfortunately the Yeah Yeah Yeahs won’t be invented for another 40 years. Anyway, I guess cutting your own hair is the 1965 version of cutting. Sally’s a hot mess. I can’t wait for her to grow up and start smoking hella weed and banging every longhair with a guitar in sight. Don doesn’t share my artistic vision and is pissed about Sally’s new do. Whatever, Don, chillax. Just because Ted Chaoughaugh shit all over you at Benihana doesn’t mean that Sally’s not cool as shit.

January Jones is back in my life and all is well! Oh, she drunk again. That January Jones. Sally comes home and she slaps the kid! Jesus! If she did that to Don, they’d still be together. You’re slapping the wrong Draper, Betts!

Back at the office, the Japanese arrive and there’s some hijinx with the translations. Man, I love a good translation subtitle joke. That shit never fails. Pete’s handing out cantaloupes and Johnnie Walker when Roger comes in and blows up the whole deal. Wow, what a shitbird Roger is. You gotta let it go, man!

David McCallum from Man from U.N.C.L.E.: Hot or Not? Sally votes “hot.” Eww, gross, there is not going to be any way to get through this without it being super uncomfortable. OK, Sally gets busted…we’re going to need a euphemism here. Riding the Honda? Sally gets busted Riding the Honda. Other Mom rushes Sally home and rats her out to Betts. Time for more beatings! And finger removal surgery! Oh, Cryptkeeper has a little more perspective since he’s seen this kind of thing before over the last 150 years. He is a Calming Voice of Reason and we will send Sally to first of many, many mental health professionals she will be seeing during her life.

Next, we have a mini-Caper Movie within the show. Don has a Plan: they’re going to make Chaoughaugh think they’re working on something when they’re not! That’s what I do every single day at work! I would perfect for this! False leads are planted and there are meetings with directors and blahdeddy blah it all works because Don just Gets Shit Done.

Here comes Faye. She finally fucking says what everyone has been thinking for 3 years: “I don’t know how people drink the way you do around here.” She says this as she’s tossing back a little Lunchtime Sake with Don. Humorously, my Mom said the exact same thing last time she came to visit! Anyway, I have just about had it with Faye and Don not fucking. For Christ’s sakes, people, let’s get our shit together.

We will now wrap this up. Betty tells the therapist that she wishes Cryptkeeper had met her Dad, I guess because they could have traded Revolutionary War stories. Roger’s office looks like Lime, but without the bottomless mimosas and house music. SDCP somehow ends up with the Honda account and I’m not sure how it all went down but I think Don gave them a check for $3000 and that did it. Still no mention of the Rolling Stones.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eyes of the Snake: A Harrowing True Story of Terror and Survival

I knew this day had to come. I just didn't know it was going to be today.

Let me back up. Years ago, when The Wife was still Super Hot Irish Girlfriend, she disclosed that she had one crippling phobia: an intense, irrational fear of snakes. Now whether this has something to do with Ireland being snake-free (and mad props to St. Patrick for that) or is just One of Those Things, I don't know. What I do know is that she once said "If I were in a locked room with a snake and a gun, I would use it to kill myself because I wouldn't be able to go on." It's, like, that bad.

So I knew that one day we would probably be out somewhere and see an actual snake and I just hoped she wouldn't do what she said she would do if she ever saw a snake in the wild, which is have a heart attack and die.

That day, ladies and gentlemen, was today.

Around 1:00 p.m., we took the dog and went up to Bernal Hill, since it was nice out and dogs can run off-leash up there and that's his Thing. Parked the car at the bottom of the hill and got out and started up the pathway that goes up and around the hill. We had maybe gone 40 feet when she grabbed my arm and said "FUCK." I looked up the hill and there it was. Maybe 4 to 5 feet long, crawling across the paved path. Maybe 20 feet ahead. It looked pretty fucking big, actually.

Note: actual snake may have been slightly smaller.

She started breathing really hard and crying. I comforted her by saying "Pull yourself together." She did not find that very comforting. I put my arm around her and we turned around and headed back to the car. She actually held it together pretty well. We passed the same family at the bottom of the hill that we had passed going up about 45 seconds earlier. I wonder what they thought I did to that poor lady.

So we drove away and everyone lived but it was an Extremely Unpleasant Experience. She was fine by about 20 minutes later. By then she was texting people to tell them how she escaped from a 25 to 30-foot snake who was attacking her. We ended up taking the dog to Crissy Field, which worked out fine for him because he likes that even better.

The Wife's OK now. She's never going to Bernal Hill again, though.

Friday, August 20, 2010

And in today's distressing polling news

About a third of the people polled by Time magazine think Obama's a Muslim. 46% of Republicans do. Wrap your head around that for a minute.

(It occurs to me that there's probably a huge amount of overlap between people that think this and people who thought Obama was under the thrall of Jeremiah Wright. You can't have it both ways, people. Either he's a Wright-Christian or a Muslim. Pick your poison.)

(You know what else about the whole Jeremiah Wright thing? Who the fuck listens in church? You and I both know Obama was sitting there going "Just 25 more minutes and I can get home and watch the fucking Bears. Oh God will this guy ever shut the fuck up.")

Muslims have to pray like 6 times a day and there's a whole thing with a rug and pointing towards Mecca and whatnot and do you think for a second that the President of the United States could get away with this without someone noticing and going "Oh, hey, I wonder why the President kneels down on his little rug with the Presidential seal 6 times a day. What's up with that?" The White House Press Corps is so far up his ass that they can report on what he had for breakfast based on personal observation from inside his duodenum. You think they're going to whiff on him worshipping Allah? Bitch please.

Personally, I don't want my President to be any religion at all. The last thing I want is for the one person who can destroy the planet to believe that the Afterlife is a good place to be. Fuck that, I want him to think that This Life is the best and should be preserved at all costs.

That being said, my best guess is that, religion-wise, Obama is probably like a lot of guys his age who went to Columbia undergrad and Harvard Law - basically agnostic, but goes to church because it's expected in his social circle. And if I'm right, FINE BY ME.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised. 48% of people believe in ghosts. LOOK OUT WHAT'S THAT BEHIND YOU!?! Just kidding, there's nothing behind you. 23% of people believe in "witches," whatever the fuck that means.

BUT WAIT! It gets even better! I love this shit:

When Americans are asked to identify the country from which America gained its independence, 76% correctly name Great Britain. A handful, 2%, think America's freedom was won from France, 3% mention some other country (including Russia, China, and Mexico, among others named), while 19% are unsure.

19% are unsure! Love it. That roughly correlates with the 18% who think the Sun revolves around the Earth. Teach the controversy, I say!

Why am I blathering on about this? I don't know. Let's go get a drink. It's Friday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In which I turn into Go Fug Yourself or something

I don't know anything about style or fashion. I have to take my sister with me when I shop for clothes so I don't accidentally buy green and orange plaid or a jacket with zippers on it or whatever.

I also am only vaguely aware of who Taylor Momsen is. Some kind of teen actress/singer/whatever, I guess. I don't really know. Does she have something to do with "Gossip Girl"? That would explain why I don't know anything about her.

Somewhere on the Internet, I came across a video of Taylor Momsen talking about Style and I was so troubled by the freeze-frame of her face that I clicked on it. Taylor Momsen said she feels much better since she fired her stylist. I think Taylor Momsen has made a mistake.

Look, it's a Juggalette! No, wait, it's a victim of domestic violence. No, wait, it's a 14-year-old boy going to his first Misfits show. No, wait.

Taylor, come home. Daddy misses you. Remember when we used to rummage through garbage cans together? We can do that again. Come home, honey.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

If you like furniture and art, you're going to love this

ADVISORY: This is a shameless plug for my friend's store.

My friend Stephen lives in the Mission and is vegetarian and edits Hacked IRL. Recently he decided to open a store dedicated to Mid-Century furniture and art, because that's his thing. It's called Dusty Modern and it's on 20th, near South Van Ness. It's like a block away from Shotwell's, if you're like me and relate everything to what bar it's closest to.

See? It's full of furniture and art. And Stephen, too, if you look very carefully at the back.

You should totally go by. Right now, he's open Fri-Sun, 12-6. When I went by, I got 2 beers. I can't guarantee you'll get 2 beers just for showing up, but I can guarantee that if you want to talk about Mid-Century furniture or Clyfford Still or Spoon, Stephen will most likely be happy to oblige you.

Thus ends the shameless plug for my friend's store.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mad Men #4: Let's cry it out

Brief nudity! Now we’re getting somewhere. It better be January Jones. So we begin on the set of a rollicking new comedy starring all the same people from Mad Men. Seriously, who wrote this episode, Neil Simon? What’s with the one-liners and the “Oh, there’s a fire by Radio City” and whatnot? I mean, it’s great, we’ll take it, but seriously.

Peggy’s getting ready to take a walk on the wild side. She takes an elevator ride with the girl from Life who’s showing off some Very Tasteful Nudes. That’s how they used to do porn. Today we get a midget peeing on a donkey but in 1965 they had to look at sideboob and imagine what the rest looks like. In other news, Peggy is going to be wearing mustard-colored clothes all episode, get used to it.

(Incidentally, one of the members of our extended Mad Men familia had an epiphany or moment of religious ecstasy or something because she pointed at the screen and yelled “HOLY SHIT THAT CHICK WAS IN KICKING AND SCREAMING” and I’m just going to hope she meant the funny, clever 1995 comedy with Chris Eigeman and Olivia d’Abo (who used to be super-hot and I don’t even know what she’s doing these days) and not the Will Ferrell thing from a couple of years ago because I may not be able to talk to her any more if she recognizes people from Will Ferrell movies. ANYWAY, no independent confirmation on the Kicking and Screaming thing so if you want a project today, match up the two cast lists on IMDB and go to town.)

That little shitbag Pete Campbell has to dump his father-in-law’s Clearasil account so they meet up in a bar and FIL tells him Trudy is pregnant. Great, just what the world needs, another Pete Campbell. In fact, Pete II would be about 45 years old today and I think it’s this super-annoying little fuck that works on the 4th floor. That’s what I think.

Joan calls a meeting of the Office Girls! Oh, wait, it’s a focus group led by Faye. Oh, wait, it’s fucking est or Landmark or something. There is a LOT of crying in Focus Group! Peggy is not having it because She Is a Strong Woman. “Your problem is not my problem,” Peggy says. There’s your fucking tagline, Ponds! In the ad, we will see a couple of peeps knocking on this lady’s door and they say they are collecting money for the orphans and she says “Your problem is not my problem” and then smears Ponds on her face and then it goes SCHHHONGGGG and a big bottle of Ponds smacks you in the face. Fuck, I should have gone into advertising.

Ken’s back and he doesn’t like McCann and he also doesn’t like Pete. Join the fucking club, Ken. Oh, now here we have the showdown between Don and his Sexretary. She wants a recommendation letter and he says to write one up and he’ll sign it and she doesn’t like that. Now what the fuck is wrong with that? That sounds like a great fucking deal to me. “This is a fucking stone killer secretary. In between taking dictation and writing up some motherfucking Gregg shorthand, she will also run your office like the control room of a submarine and can basically print money out of her hair. If you don’t hire her, you might as well shoot yourself in the fucking face. Love Don.”

The Power Lesbian is back and now she’s sharking on a secretary! Whoa, Power Lesbian, one at a time! She invites Peggy to some art thing/excuse for smoking the reefer and this party looks like a scene from every bad 60’s movie. Seriously, all they need is a guy with a goatee and a beret hitting his little drum and saying “Cool, man, real cool.” Power Lesbian, who looks like Sarah Silverman, makes some crack about renting your vagina and it’s one of those things you think is funny but it’s really not. Then the cops bust their party and Peggy hides out with some Pot Bro and I don’t remember what else happened.

To wrap up:

- Don gets a new secretary and if they think just because she looks like Dame Edna Don won’t bang her, they’d be surprised.
- Peggy congratulates Pete on his new baby and oh, by the way, remember when I had your baby? Who else are you going to get to have your baby? Huh? Every fucking woman in this office? How many goddam babies do you need?
- I am getting pretty fucking sick of Don and Faye talking instead of having sex.
- Did you get pears? I don't know, I'm 120 fucking years old and I'm in a hallway with Don Draper and fuck it, I can't even remember.

Friday, August 13, 2010

True stories behind the SF Appeal crime reports

Crime reports courtesy of, naturally, the SF Appeal.

Wednesday, 8/11/10

1:25pm: A man was at a bus stop on the 3200 block of 19th Ave. with friends when he was reportedly approached by three men and robbed at gunpoint. There were no injuries and no arrests have been made.

We move quickly, quietly. We are the wind. We know the 28 bus never, ever comes, so our victims will be there. "Hail, there, fellow traveler! Now then, unburden yourself of your valuables, lest ye be as damaged and lame as the Muni bus you wait for." We disappear into the fog. Injuries are for amateurs.

3:18pm: A woman was reportedly robbed at 808 Brannan St. by two people. The suspects allegedly drove up on motorcycles & stole two shopping bags containing jewelry. An arrest was made and there were no injuries.

The motorcycle is a mosquito of crime; we use it to buzz our victim, extract our lifeblood, and fly erratically away before she can slap us. Two shopping bags containing jewelry! Two shopping bags of delicious blood. You cannot arrest the wind.

3:30pm: A man was sitting in his room in the 100 block of South Hill Blvd. when another man reportedly entered his home, punched him, & then covered him with towels. The suspect then allegedly ransacked the house. No arrests were made and there were no injuries.

Long ago, when we began, we often puzzled about how to keep the victim quiet and compliant. It took months before we hit on the answer: towels. For all are powerless before the lure of a freshly-laundered towel, still warm from the dryer. “Robbed?,” they say. “I’m not being robbed. I’m being swaddled in love. Whatever they take, it is a fair price.”

Thursday, 8/12/10

12:45am: A man was riding her bike on eastbound 25th and Alabama when he was approached by four men who reportedly pushed him from his bike and then robbed him. The suspects then fled westbound. No arrests have been made and there were minor injuries.

WHOOPS! That’s your fault, not mine, my friend. Look, you’ve fallen from your bike. Perhaps you did not know this, but any property you lose on the way down belongs to whomever might claim it. This lighter, for example! It is mine now. I must go.

1:10am: A man was walking on Mission & 30 St. and was reportedly robbed and assaulted by four other men. The victim reportedly blacked out and woke up in pain, only to notice that his property was missing. No arrests have been made. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital.

We have been perfecting the Blackout Device for several years. When completed, we will be able to aim it at the cranium or torso of any walking man and render him Blacked Out for up to 25 minutes. Pending completion of the Blackout Device, we use this sock filled with nickels instead. Our apologies; when the Device is complete, hospital visits will be unnecessary.

12:11pm: A man was reportedly beat up by a man and a woman on the 2000 block of 25th St. The suspects allegedly took the man's jacket and wallet. No arrests have been made and there were minor injuries.

It is hard not to laugh when Griselda beats up a man. "Ho, ho," she chortles, raining blows upon him with her tiny balled fists. They look like persimmons under the flickering streetlamp. We know the man will say “I was beaten by a woman…..oh, AND A MAN.” Griselda and I know the truth.

Friday, 8/13/10

1:02am: A man walked into a liquor store on the 200 block of Valencia St. and reportedly robbed it at gunpoint. An arrest has been made and there were no injuries.

Our mistake was sending Terrence in to do a Nigel job. That mistake will not be repeated, I assure you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mad Men #3: Mysterious Origins of the Bro-Date Revealed!

Let me preface this by saying that this week’s recap is brought to you under Conditions of Extreme Hardship (or maybe that should be Condiciones de Extrema Dureza), because I conformed to the worst stereotypes and contracted some kind of horrible affliction in Mexico that continued to trouble me through last night, when I finally had the opportunity to watch this week’s episode. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, putting aside my own well-being so that you might get this recap. Like you care or anything.)

Poor Joan. All she wants to do is have a normal life with a normal guy and a normal baby and everything else a 1964 woman might want and instead she gets stuck with a history of non-medically-approved abortions and a chain-smoking gyno and a husband whose finest moment was getting hit over the back of the head with a vase. And mean old Lane Pryce won’t even give her a couple of days off in January! Karma’s going to come get you, you bloody twat!

Now we are interrupted by a scene from “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Oh no, wait, that’s Don driving down the coast in his convertible. It’s so jarring when the show leaves Manhattan. Brooklyn’s like a strange and distant land to these people. OK, we’re going back to see the Real Don Draper’s Wife. She now comes equipped with a Hottie Niece who goes to Cal and has grass. That’s ridiculous! Blonde chicks never buy their own drugs! Real Don Draper’s Wife, DD, and Hottie Steph go to some bar. In the background, people are dancing like it’s Arnold’s from “Happy Days.” Steph’s a pistol! Sure, she’s all college-lefty now but you fast forward to today and you know she’s living in a retrirement community in Arizona and bitching about illegal immigrants. Later, natch, DD puts the moves on when he gives her a ride home. He was right, she did get picked up by some creep! She uses the old Your-Fake-Identity’s-Wife-Has-Cancer-And-We-Haven’t-Told-Her-Yet dodge. Boy, if I had a nickel. Hey, Don, maybe not the best time to light up a smoke!

Following the dawn light wash across the set like my high school production of Death of a Salesman, we see that DD has chosen to paint the interior of RDDW’s house aquamarine whilst wearing boxers and blowing mad clouds with her. Too bad Dark Side of the Moon hasn’t been invented yet! That might confuse and frighten them, since the most complicated musical thing they’ve ever heard is “White Christmas.” Anyway, Sis comes around and DD gets all up in her grill and says she’s gotta tell RDDW about the cancer or he will and Sis is all “The fuck I will, the fuck business is it of yours motherfucker” and DD says “I make it my business bitch” and Sis says something else I forget and DD chickens out anyway.

Back to NYC, WHEW. I don’t like the California scenes. Joan is GOING OFF on Lane. Here comes the karma! There’s been a flower mixup and Lane’s wife has gotten the card that says “Joan, you are the finely chopped dates in my sticky toffee pudding” or something like that. Anyway, so much for Lane’s marriage! Just as well, she was a bitch.

All this shit was just prelude, though, to what might be the greatest sequence of scenes in Mad Men history: Don and Lane’s Most Excellent Bro-Date!!!!! The Boyzzzz get started by splitting a fine-ass bottle o’ whiskey, then head out to catch Godzilla, taking along the rest of the bottle in a Mega-Flask. I was heartened to see that, even in 1964, guys observed the one-chair-between-them bro-distance. They’re all shitfaced and talking shit in the theater like they at the Metreon or something. If Don had a laser pointer it’d be perfect. Anyway, then on to some dinner where Lane does this:

TIME FOR SOME HOOKERS. First, let’s stop and see some standup comedy! “Hey, you ever notice how rigid and confining our gender roles are? What’s up with that?” No, instead he makes gay jokes at DD and Lane! Boy are you way off, Mr. Proto-Comedian! See, here come the hookers now! Anyway, they all head back to DD’s bachelor pad and all I can say is I hope Hooker #2 isn’t a slapper too or Lane’s in for a big surprise. And only $25? That's a bargain, even by 1964 standards. OK, that's enough.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I have returned to the US now

A few observations from an all-inclusive resort in Los Cabos, Mexico:

- When you give people all the free booze they want, they take advantage of it. Amongst all the visibly drunk people, my favorite was the Overtanned Middle-Aged Blonde who tottered around, followed at a discreet distance by hotel staff trying to make sure she didn't faceplant in the shrubbery or pass out on the pathway, I assume. We saw her the next night, too, sitting there, her head repeatedly falling forward onto the bar. Girlfriend needs to learn a little about pacing.

- No one ever drinks pina coladas unless they're on vacation somewhere tropical, when some people only drink pina coladas. (Or pinas coladas, as the case may be).

- Gotta hand it to the staff, though; in the face of dealing with a shitload of drunk Ugly Americans, they were totally nice and cheerful and just as friendly as they could be.

One more thing, as I alluded to on Twitter yesterday: We went through immigration and customs in Phoenix. The very last step of this whole process is when a guy asks you if you've brought back any food and takes your customs form that you filled out on the plane. Anyway, as we got up to this last step, we were behind a Hispanic woman and her two kids and a luggage cart full of stuff. At the doorway, there's a faded red line on the floor and a sign that says "Wait behind red line until officer calls you forward." I don't know if she didn't see the sign or didn;t speak English or what, but the woman in front of us went over the red line by like three feet. The customs guy by the sign, who was either Hispanic or Asian (we couldn't figure it out) looks at us all disgusted and says "Guess they don't have stop signs where she's from."

WHAT. First of all, there was no stop sign, there was a faded red line on the floor. Second of all, what the fuck? There's a cheerful "Welcome to America!" for you. Third, I don't know, do they have stop signs where you're from? What a dick.

Anyway, Mad Men recap tomorrow, I guess.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

TK's Long Weekend FAQ

Long weekend? What the fuck?

That's right, you heard me. Long weekend. I have officially had it with 58 degrees and foggy and so The Wife and I are packing up our shit and getting the fuck out of town tomorrow and coming back Monday.

What about me? I'm a huge narcissist and I need to know how this will affect ME ME ME ME.

Well, I guess the biggest thing you'll notice is that there won't be a Mad Men recap Monday morning because, to be completely honest, if I'm sitting in my suite at this resort on Sunday night watching Mad Men instead of sitting at the beachside bar, something has gone very, very wrong in my life and I should just kill myself.

So, point being, you'll get your Mad Men recap maybe Wednesday.

Where are you going, anyway?

I'm not going to just tell you! I have enough problems with stalkers already. And by stalkers, I mean family members. And by family members, I mean my Mom. And also people looking for my ex-wife, who seems to be deficient in repaying a number of obligations. Should have asked me before you loaned that deadbeat money! Anyway, here's what the weather's like this weekend where I'm going:

Sounds nice, huh? Oh shit, I guess it says "Los Cabos" right there. So that's where we're going. Los Cabos. That's in Mexico.

As it happens, we're staying at an "all-inclusive" resort, which means you pay one flat price and then you get all the food and booze you want included. That's right, all the booze you can drink. And this place has 5 different bars. I can make back the cost of the entire trip on Friday night, I figure. They really do not know who they are fucking with.

So this just came out of nowhere? No special occasion?

Not exactly. As it happens, it's also The Wife's birthday today. Now, I couldn't hope to replicate the moving birthday tribute I penned for her last year, so instead here's this Advice Dog birthday greeting I just made.

Do you enjoy air travel?


Why didn't you write anything about the gay marriage thing like everyone else in the entire world? Do you hate the gays?

Yes, I hate the gays. No, stupid. What am I going to add? "Me, too!" Or repeat that lame joke about how gay people can suffer like the rest of us or whatever? That joke is so played Leno wouldn't even touch it at this point.

You're coming back, though, right?

Sigh. Yes, I'm coming back. You'll be OK. Just stay indoors and turn the heat on.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And now, the Winner of the 6-Word Memoir Contest

First off, I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to SMITH Magazine, the originators of the Six-Word Memoir thing. Good job, SMITH Magazine!

OK, we got a lot of good entries here. I carefully considered each one, but, in the end, there can be only one winner. Just like life!

Here are some I liked:

Allan's "Never got to see the Ramones" is a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of life, not to mention punk rock.

Bob sent me "Daddy isn't coming back, is he?" which has its own sad power. (Incidentally, Bob has some very nice photos, which you can see here.)

Jessica's sentiment, "Fuck it, let's just watch TV" rings true and reflects a life philosophy I can get behind.

I paused at Daisy's "I am not who I say," in light of her admitted history of prevarication, and it added fuel to my theory that Daisy is actually a composite character created by a team of writers.

But I liked my fave right off the bat and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it really is a life story in 6 words. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Winner is:

Leslie's "Sorry I called you an asshole"

So, Leslie, email me with your mailing address and Social Security Number and whatever other kind of info would be helpful and I will rush the incredible prize package worth $5.02 out to you posthaste. Congratulations, and thanks, everyone, for playing!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Bachelorette: Finally.

REMINDER: Today is the last day to enter the Six-Word Memoir Contest and win Big Prizes and the Acclaim of Your Peers. You have until 6 pm my time. GO.

Well, friends, here we are at the end of our Amazing Journey that we Gave Everything Up for and did for the Right Reasons, which is to find the Love of Our Life. Opening Montage.

Let’s get to it. Time for Roberto to meet Ali’s family. Wow, is she adopted? All together, they look like a group photo of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Dad and Bro both have Balloon Heads and I don’t know what’s up with Sis. Everyone fancies themselves a Spanish speaker and Sis starts with the R-rolling and calls him “Rrrrrrrroberrrrrto.” Then Mom gets in on the act and tries out her high school Spanish on him! “I want…3 tacos….in the bathtub,” she says. Hey, everyone, News Flash: Roberto speaks The English too!

Time for a one-on-one with Dad. Oh, Dad’s wearing mandals. That’s a good look for a hydrocephalic 60-year-old! Roberto’s concerns is making Ali happy. He wants to convey how much he “generally cares about her.” Dad “doesn’t see a problem” with Roberto. Wow, are they talking about marriage or a new Weedeater? Oh, Mom’s back. She wants Roberto to teach her to salsa! Oh, great! Maybe next we’ll put up a pinata and don our ponchos and sombreros! Ole!

Now it’s Dead Mother’s turn. Hmmmm, I wonder if his Mom will come up at all. Look, we’ve got a Live Mother over here! Jealous much!? DM’s Mom was a nurse. Oh, Ali’s Mom is a nurse too! OH REALLY!? What dress size are you? Now it’s getting weird. Everyone’s a teacher! My favorite color is blue! ME TOO!!!! ME THREE!!!! We were all born in Montreal and speak Spanish and love Sizzler! THIS IS CRAZY!

Dad asks DM to go outside and talk. DM shoots him the secret gang sign for “Yes.”

You know, DM’s great and all, but he seems way more like the guy you get to mow your lawn than the love of anyone’s life. Ali has “so much going through her head right now.” Like the infected ends of her now-rotten extensions!

Last date with Roberto. Whilst out Jet-Skiing, they happen upon a school of stingrays. Oh, how beautiful! Nature is amazing and HOLY FUCK IT IS EATING MY INTESTINES ALI GET THE GUN GET IT OFF ME JESUS CHRIST I DON’T WANT TO DIE HERE.

Oh, I guess they’re like trained or something. Anyway, final date at the Hilton, some nonsensical conversation, then Roberto gives her a picture in a Special Frame he made from twine and macramé at Summer Camp.

Last date with DM now. Ali comes over to his room at the Hilton. Uh-oh, this doesn’t look good. She’s got on her We Need to Talk pout. Whoa, she’s dumping him! She’s in love with somebody else! Roberto, maybe. Why on Earth would she do this without talking to Chris Harrison first? Good God, DM, stop thanking her so much. She’s dumping you, not bringing you another round of Bud Light.

Now we have the predictable post-dumping shots. Ali goes to look meaningfully at the water. DM is crying over his balcony BUT LOOK! IT’S A RAINBOW! That’s his Mom! Just like that time when Kit Kats were 3 for 99 cents at the 7-Eleven! That was Mom too! And my car stopped leaking oil! Mom. Anyway, Chris gets on a boat and heads back to Cape Cod for some more ringworm and landscaping, I guess.

Getting close to the end now. Bear with me. Roberto’s getting ready and shaves and IMMEDIATELY has a 5 o’clock shadow. WTF, you actually see him getting swarthier. Then he puts on his Copier Salesman suit with the Cardboard Collar and it’s off to pop the question. Ali’s waiting on top of a mountain, and here comes Roberto on the Jungle Cruise ride from Disneyland. Once again, Roberto is a finalist in the Sweating 5000! Get the Sham-Wow, we're going to need it! He proposes, she says yes, whatever.

On the aftershow, they say they’re still together. I guess he doesn’t know she’s getting a little Matt Leinart on the side! Anyway, thank you for Sharing this Journey with me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mad Men #2: Creeper Glen is at it again!

I’ll get to the Mad Men in a second, but first let’s talk about Inception. Or rather, let’s talk about the two heavily-floral-scented mid-60s to mid-80s bitches that sat next to me and The Wife at the Century 20 Daly City yesterday and TALKED THROUGH THE WHOLE GODDAM MOVIE.

I knew they were going to be fucking trouble when they started a running commentary during the previews. “Oh, I don’t think I’ll want to see that” and so forth. Whatever, talking during the previews is a grey area but not completely out of line, as long as you shut up by the time the movie starts. Well, not these fucking harpies from the Mouth of Old Lady Hell. Blah blah blah. Actual quote, during a quiet scene, one mossback to another: “Do you like this movie?” OH FUCK YOU BOTH. Finally I leaned over and said “Can you PLEASE be quiet,” and Wrinkled Prune #1 just looks at me. They didn’t talk for 2 whole minutes! Yay! Oh, then Animated Corpse pulls out her Jitterbug and starts making phone calls. I shit you not, I almost fucking lost it.

OK, on to more important things. It’s Christmastime in Mad Men world! This is way before PC, so can say “Christmas” and not “Holiday Season.” Oh, look out, it’s Creeper Glen at the Xmas tree lot! And he’s packing a knife. “Maybe I’ll call you,” he tells Sally. Glen sounds like an experienced dater already! He calls her up later cleverly using the alias “Stanley” and fucking weirds out Sally and me both. He’s one to watch! When he’s not torturing animals.

Over at Sterling Coop, we’re going to have a holiday party! Oh, not a big one. Just a “glass of gin and a box of Velveeta.” Sounds like my usual Friday night! Here we see some market research types, led by Faye. At my house, one of the rabble says “Think Don’s going to sleep with her?” and everybody laughed because OF COURSE but HOLD THE PHONE maybe Don’s losing it a little.

It’s the Return of Fred! With much less pissed-in pants. Oh, whoa, he’s a sponsor now and whatever you call the alkie that needs a sponsor is calling him. Fred’ll meet him at the Baptist Church. First thought, shit you not, was there’s a Baptist Church in Manhattan? Fred’s stuck in the past, man. He’s bugging Pegs with his “women just want to get married” BS. Fred’s not long for this season, I feel.

Oh, great, Gay Lucky Strikes Guy is getting a manicure. Why don’t they just show him planting bulbs in his garden while singing the score to “Carousel”? WE GET IT HE’S GAY. GLSG demands a Christmas Party so SterCoop ramps it up bigtime. Everyone’s standing around and then GLSG shows up. Act natural, everyone! I have a feeling GLSG is not going to get what he actually wants. Except for conga, which everyone wants. Wow, GLSG is kind of an asshole! He squints at Roger and makes him put on the Santa suit and then takes embarrassing photos with his new Polaroid. Suck it up, Roger! It could be way worse, believe me. Oh, here comes Faye! Wait a motherfucking second, is she turning down Don Draper? Didn’t you get the memo, Faye? What the fuck is wrong with you?

Over at Pegs’, we meet Mystery Man Mark, who is quite the Super Horndog! Oh, that “This is how they do it in Sweden” line. Tried that, it only works on Swedes. Wait, Peggy told him she’s a virgin? Maybe her baby is Jesus! Wow, this show is going to get weirder and weirder. He brought cookies to try and get some! Good luck with that. Too bad cocaine hasn’t been invented yet.

Meanwhile, Creeper Glen and Accomplice #1 are…what, breaking into Sally’s house for a little light vandalism? WTF? Sally comes home and finds Glen’s little twine thing on her pillow. Eeeek, he ain’t right. But Sally’s all, “Awww, for me? This is a sweet-ass twine thing, for reals.”

OK, I was starting to get nervous and shaky because it looked like we were going to go a whole episode without Don getting laid which would probably throw the Earth off its axis but look out everybody, here comes Sexretary Allison, bringing him his keys after the Big Party. And…..SCORE! Whew, I feel better now. Then she leaves right away! Can I get her number? She wasn’t so slappy so I bet Don’s Just Not That Into You. The next day, Don gives her a card with a Large Cash Settlement in it. KLASSY. What does it say? “Thanks for the Dick-tation” or “You’re a bang-up gal”? Hey, apropos of nothing, what happened to Teacher Suzanne? I liked her.

Oh, and Peggy gives it up. That guy’s a loser, Pegs. What happened to Duck, anyway? I miss Duck. That is all.

Also, tonight is FINALLY the end of the Bachelorette and that cuts my TV recapping in half, THANK FUCKING GOD.