The boob tube

I rarely watch TV.  Part of it has to do with my work schedule; the other part is the fact we cheaped out on cable and no longer have a DVR.  I watch SNL, One Tree Hill, Downton Abbey, and Mad Men: what I like to call quality television. Debatable, but it’s what trips my trigger.

Mad Men Season 5 is in full swing and I’m addicted.  There I am, drinking my Port and gasping during the scenes with The General snuggled up with me.  He’s not into it as much as I am, but will watch it with me, especially if there is wine and edamame involved.  Downton Abbey won’t premiere until September (sigh), One Tree Hill has wrapped, and SNL is either hit or miss.  I figured I had a good repertoire going and then The General had to go and get me sucked into another drama.

We have a subscription to Netflix, and The General got Game of Thrones.  Now, it’s an HBO produced show, so that should have clued me in on storylines, but it didn’t register.  If natural female breasts bother you, please do not watch this show.  You will be extremely offended.  It was an education for me:  as an American in the 21st century, I’ve grown so used to the silicone-enhanced assets, that I’ve completely never noticed natural breasts outside my own.  I don’t like porn and I’m 110% hetero, so I’m quite limited.  All the women shown in the show (which takes place during the middle ages in a fantasy realm, so there’s no real date on things and the framework of buildings doesn’t fit with any time period which bothered this realist more than the breasts) have seemingly normal, run of the mill breasts.  I was shocked.  I’m can fill a 36B on a good day.  All these women were about my size, some a little smaller, some a little bigger.  I’m not used to that!  “This is totally normal, ” said the General, who did an independent study on the subject during his undergrad years. “Society and the media have taught us that breasts are suppose to be huge and round and it just isn’t so.”

Hmph.  Could have fooled me.

Once you get passed the nipples, the storyline is amazing.  It’s interwoven into families and it becomes – you guessed it – a game of thrones.  I must admit I’m eagerly awaiting disk 3 to arrive in the mail.

I would also like to note that said nudity does play into the storyline.  I don’t believe in gratuitous nudity much as I don’t believe in anything gratuitous in storylines: people, places, things, lines, etc.  Some of the scenes take place in brothels, so naturally there would be half naked women running around.  But it’s all central to plot/character development.  I like it.  Well scripted, well casted, well acted, well directed — a classic for sure.

I also discovered, in my quest to learn conversational German, Sat.1, a German broadcast station.  2 shows I think will help immensely: Die Harald Schmidt Show, billed as the Conan O’Brien of late night German TV.  He’s funny, but I barely understand him.  The other show, which has me laughing off my chair is a sketch comedy called Knallerfrauen.  Short scenes with hilarious hijinks – you don’t have to understand the language to get the joke, although it does help.  Some I can understand, but most fly over my head like Herr Schmidt.  Hopefully in time, I will understand what they’re saying.  Until then, I will just laugh hysterically  at the physical comedy of it all.

And German newspapers have a “sexy bilder” (sexy picture) feature with…..you guessed it……women without shirts.  Most are natural.

Go figure.

From Madison Avenue to the Yorkshire Country

As you may already know, I have what some would refer to as an obsession with Mad Men.  The literary part of me is so drawn to the storyline – you could write a term paper on each episode alone.  I love it.  I can’t wait until 25 March when Season 5 debuts.  I am so excited that my one other friend who’s also a maddict, I have already made plans with her to come over and watch it.  It’s been off the air for over a year and a half now and it’s high time we get our fix back to the show.

I’ve tried to fill the void with other shows, most notably One Tree Hill, simply because it was filmed here and I can identify most of the exterior shots. And the story is somewhat stuck in my head.  (If you follow the series, my husband and I were married in the foyer of Victoria’s New York house – The Graystone Inn.  It also doubled as the funeral parlor where Dan was dead in a dream sequence from like season 2 or 3.)  The only problem I had was when Brooke found out she was pregnant because of a lab mix up.  Honestly, what they said happened WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.  Anyway….

After watching Mad Men season 4 for the 2nd time, I needed another show.  I kept hearing good things about Downton Abbey, another period piece about England 100 years ago.  The show opens with the sinking of the Titanic (April 1912).  The General and I settled in on the couch last night and watched 2 episodes.

I’m hooked.

It’s all British drama, so its dry and slow paced, but I’m falling in love with the characters.  It’s a lot like Mad Men where the characters are multidimensional and it goes between the aristocratic family and the servants with interlocking storylines. And the costumes, so spot on.  I can see how it’s gotten several Golden Globes — it’s so well done.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

It’s also better for my health.  In Mad Men, everyone is drinking hard liquor (cue Captain Morgan).  In Downton, everyone is drinking tea (cue tea ball).

The best line so far?  I love British colloquialisms and use them from time to time at work (“The bloody thing won’t work.”).  The Earl said, “He can ride with Mr. Bates and if he doesn’t like, he can lump it.”  It cracked me up.  Lump it!  I’m so going to use that in a sentence this week.

Move over, Caesar. The ides of March can’t come quick enough!

16 March 2012 – Mad Men Season 5 debuts!!!!!!!  Yay!

I found this quirky clip piece on You Tube, it’s very well edited and hilarious, with a couple anachronisms.  I believe smoking is a good thing.  One, tobacco is one of our largest exports here in North Carolina (cha-ching).  It keeps our economy moving.  Secondly, if you’re a lifelong smoker, chances are pretty high that you will have health problems related to smoking.  And as a health care worker, that’s where I come in.  Bwahaha.

It also helps that Don Draper is smokin’ hot.

My Mad Men moment

It’s so secret that we’re losing people faster than we can hire them at work.  It’s getting silly now, as the water is now ankle deep in our boat and we’re handed buckets to start bailing water overboard. The distress signals we’re giving out are going unanswered — or answered by people who can’t help us (i.e. can’t do the work that needs to be done)…..and so I wait for the water to rise waist high as my arms are tired every night from constantly bailing out myself, my co-workers, and the machines that are truly Ford’s (fix or repair daily….seriously.  I see more of the service rep than of my husband some weeks).

I just had my performance review and despite how I feel about coming across as a complete orge, I got the maximum score of 100%.  I don’t know if I am just hard on myself and this is proof I’m doing well or if they’re just overlooking my faults by telling me what a great job I’m doing so I won’t follow my former co-workers and find a job elsewhere.  I’m valuable because I know the most information and can fix things (i.e. machines, angry phone calls, etc).  Us veterans are a dying breed.

The solution my boss found was also the same that pulled me to Wilmington: advertise for employees in a national journal for our profession.  I only get a subscription when I’m looking for a job — and it’s what I started reading cover-to-cover when I was prepping for my move somewhere between Virginia Beach and Miami.  I still have the ad cut out that made me apply here.  It’s less as enticing now that I look at it, but since my blood now has tested positive for salt water and sweet tea, it’s still one of the best decisions I have ever made.

My boss knows I am a good writer.  Every time we have a machine that dies (well, “dies” as in leaves the lab by either eternal mechanical death or replacement), I write an obituary for them.  At my old job, this guy actually did them and I pulled the idea form him.  I must admit, they’re pretty funny.  She would like me to write up something to put in an ad for this journal to pull people into the area.  Wilmington is a very desirable place live, it’s just my employer is somewhat of a meat grinder.  I’m definitely more hardened in my spirit since I started working here.

I’m a copywriter for a moment at my job, writing an ad.  I really want to go all Don Draper on it.  Martinis?  Check.  Sex with a co-worker? Check. (It’s okay, he’s my husband….we met at work).  And while I can’t get a meeting together to discuss my ad pitches, do you have any ideas on why someone should move to Wilmington and take a healthcare job that pays lower than most and will be guaranteed to kick your ass most nights?

As soon as I get my laughter under control, I am going to use this Mad Men clip as my inspiration.  Because I usually say this when something seriously goes wrong, followed by a barrage of F bombs and seething looks.

AMC: All My Chemistry

The General has just discovered Breaking Bad, a show on AMC that comes on before Mad Men — it’s about a cancer-stricken high school chemistry teacher and how he cooks crystal meth in order to pay for his chemo treatments.  I haven’t watch the show, but the General (being the science geek that he is) is really into the show because of all the science behind synthesizing crystal meth.  As someone who hails from Illinois, I have seen 1st hand what meth does to people.  Anhydrous ammonia tanks dot the cornfields for the crops — many are stolen and/or drained by meth cooks.  Nothing good ever comes from meth: making it alone is a hazardous material clean up situation (i.e. suits and masks) and people who do meth destroy their lives, their loved ones, and their bodies.  I can’t even imagine being a part of something that would eventually destroy someone purposely.

The General has joked about cooking meth (a pound of the good stuff would fetch about $40,000) since we both have a heavy chemistry background.  I shut him down right away: that’s not even something to joke about.  It’s a terrible, terrible thing.

I made a deal with him: if he ever starts cooking meth, I’m going to take after my favorite AMC show, Mad Men.  I’m going to start sleeping around and drinking.  All. The. Time.

I think that’s fair.

Cruel Summer

Mad Men will not premier this summer because of a disagreement between the show, AMC, and the production company.

Season 5 will debut in 2012.

Le sigh.

“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
Don Draper; Season 3, Episode 2: “Love Among the Ruins”

352 Months Old

Even though I have an amazing husband and a great life with him, I hate Valentine’s Day.  The romantic part of the day was ruined years ago.  My grandmother (Oma) died on 14 February 2003 after a long courageous battle with ovarian cancer (she made chemo look easy); we were close, so it made it all the more hard, especially when I couldn’t travel to her funeral.  The same night, my boyfriend at the time blew off a candlelit romantic champagne night with me for watching the movie “Fight Club” and hanging out in the dorm with his co-worker: a beautiful full-busted blonde.  He would eventually leave me for her, but at the time I was so beyond myself lost in the boyfriend….well, that’s another story for another time.

I was single for a lot of them and I stopped caring.  I got flowers once from the guy I was dating back in Illinois, but that was just a mere blip on my romantic radar.  And not a very good blip at that.

The General treats me so well the other 364 days of the year (he’s my sugar daddy — he brings me random chocolate throughout the year) and we do so much together and for each other, this just seems like a lame attempt of appeasement.

Exactly my point.  I put this holiday in the same category as Arbor Day, Casmir Pulaski Day (What’s that?  You didn’t attend public school in Illinois?  Grab a pierogi and check the link.), Kwanzaa, Secretary’s Day and Flag Day — holidays I don’t celebrate.  I would embrace it more if it was a holiday that meant getting the day off.  Or even better, time and a half.  Otherwise, meh.

Because of our crazy schedules, I haven’t seen The General in days.  We found ourselves both off this Tuesday, so we decided to out to dinner.  I blame my supervisor on the proximity to Valentine’s Day.  Through some random Arby’s-at-midnight conversation, we figured out that today, 15  Feb, I am 352 months old.  I always find it amusing when people refer to their kids ages in months when they’re clearly over a year old.  So I decided to be equally amusing and see how many months old I was.  Tonight is a birthday dinner of sorts.

Speaking of getting older, I do not find Justin Bieber attractive nor do I like his music.  I liked him on SNL and I think he’s quite talented, but as 352 month old woman, I just don’t see what the big deal about him is.  I suddenly feel like Don Draper on Mad Men when he talks about taking his daughter to a Beatles concert and he’s all ho-hum about it.  I don’t like sugary pop music, it grates on my nerves; maybe if Mr. Bieber released a song that was written in a minor key I would like it more.  I love a good dirge.  I also don’t find him attractive – he’s cute in the way a newborn baby is cute, not cute as in, “Take me now and let me bear your children.”  Maybe it’s my love for Led Zeppelin….or maybe I am just getting old to the point of where I roll my eyes at teen sensations.

I’m sporting a few gray eyebrow hairs – like white as snow gray.  The General laughs at me.  Then again, he’s 132.5 months older than me.

Girl Crush

As a 110% heterosexual woman (I like boys…..my track record speaks for itself), I have this huge girl crush on January Jones, who plays Betty Draper/Francis on Mad Men (she’s the blonde one).  The main players of that fabulous show are on the cover of Rolling Stone this month all vamped up.  Hotttt.

My name is Earl

Karma?  Or just cuz it’s been a long time?

Hurricane Earl is headed up the eastern seaboard as a Cat 3.

Hi new surfin’ buddy!

The surf was pretty crazy yesterday.  The outside was way too heavy/blown out/strong for me to make it to the outside to catch waves like a proper surfer, so I spent 2 fabulous hours riding the whitewater (the wave after it breaks, throwing my board into the current and just jumping on top of it).  I felt like a complete loon, but there was another guy out there on a longboard doing the same thing I was!  We appeared to be at the same skill level.

I fell a bunch of times, I had no balance.  I have a beautiful bruise on my knee and today I just feel sore, like a I was put together wrong.  I meant to go out this morning, but my blahness + work just didn’t seem right.  The General and I are hitting the waves 1st thing tomorrow morning and I am quite excited!

This weekend we’re going to the wonderful state of Pennsylvania for a family reunion (The General’s side).  I’m excited for a 10 hour roadtrip, The General is not.  I’m a little worried that this guy is going to hit the Cape Fear region when we’re not here….but at the same time, I am glad to get out of his way!

There’s a slight possibility that I will loose my hurricane virginity this week.  Oh boy.  I’m stocking up on the protection, nonetheless.

Also, Mad Men picked up some serious Emmy’s last night!!!!!!!  I wish more of the individual actors had received statues, they are so good at their craft.

August

I can’t believe it’s August already.

I really like the name August.  It was also my great-great-grandfather’s name, August Ruprecht, who was an immigrant from Prussia in the 1870’s and went to Detroit.  If I ever were to have a son, I would probably use August as a middle name.  It is doubtful I would ever have children; I was on a plane with screaming children once and my fallopian tubes tied themselves in knots – “maternal” is not a word used to describe me.

Mad Men episode #402 goes up tonight, but I missed it.  I don’t have a DVR cuz I’m cheap so I have to wait until midnight tomorrow to watch it.

My parents land here next weekend.  I must admit, I am a little nervous.  My dad is a pretty intense person and I’m afraid the famed “Mount Vesuvius” temper of his will manifest.  I enjoy the peacefulness of the relationship The General and I have and I hate to back track to days gone by.

I’m off all day tomorrow — I wish the waves were good.