Tomorrow Never Knows

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I don’t like to get overly personal here…so let’s just suffice to say some shit came down and it made blogging feel like the very last thing I wanted to do. But I am compelled to shout into the void, or to be read by you Dear Reader, in regards to my final thoughts on the recent ending of Matthew Weiner’s brilliant tale of a decade…the super happy fantastic fun dramedy known simply as “Mad Men”.

I am an admitted cynic with a serious case of CBS (Canadian Born Sarcasm) and yet in opposition to those traits I am also a hopeless romantic and, if the wind is blowing right and I’ve had enough sleep, an eternal optimist. So I desperately wanted Don/Dick to find an experience/way of life that could make him joyful.  And I wanted that the consequences of the actions which would bring him this joy would not result in making someone else miserable. Because more often than not, Don’s legacy has been to sow some very fertile seeds of discontent. Through all 7 seasons Don’s neurosis and failures have taken a heavy toll but there were moments of tenderness that informed Don as not being unredeemable.

So when Mad Men ended with the Coke ad ( which I have always loathed as a corporate co-opt of a movement that had nothing to do with consuming a chemical laden, health compromising , tooth rotting fizzy beverage ) I had a fist balling red hot anger…Don didn’t make it out. And I SO WANTED HIM TO MAKE IT OUT! And then, in the blink of an eye, my happy ending hungry mind changed the narrative. Don didn’t go back to McCann Erikson! He stayed at the retreat, got his poop in a group, rented a nice house by the sea and took up running on the beach. He learned how to brew beer and started one of the very first micro-breweries. Or something nice like that. Yeah. That was it. That was the ticket! “Don’t worry Birdie. Everything is going to be fine.”  The Coke ad was a sarcastic take on what McCann Erikson did with a get to know yourself, embrace the other and find peace social movement. Don himself used the movement to become enlightened and healthy! Yay! Happy ending!

And then, I read the AV Clubs review and saw this…

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Not cool man. I know an action oriented signifier when I see one. So this knocked my hopes back a bit. While trying to suss it all out I had a nice twitter chat with a fellow who felt Don going back to McCann Erikson to make the Coke ad was a little a-z-ish and I agreed. I thought (hoped?) maybe what we had here was the cosmic unconsciousness at play. Readers familiar with Repo Man will understand. Shrimp. Plate of Shrimp. Maybe the Coke ad lookalike was a Plate of Shrimp moment!

But I’ve been thinking about it. And I don’t think it was. I don’t think Weiner was indicting the ugly world of advertising and it’s part in driving an insatiable consumerism that has resulted in a plastic laden, toxic planet on the brink of a critical climate tipping point. Honestly, it blows chunks to come to the conclusion that it’s a very precise telegraphing of Don’s off screen (and fan imaginary!) future. Don went back to McCann Erikson to be a very expensive piece of horseflesh with a taste for CC whiskey, where he jumped on each and every chance to have soulless opportunistic sexual intercourse and every second weekend with the kids. Except, knowing Don, it’s more like every sixth weekend with the kids. If that…*insert unhappy face here*

Besides the clear symbol of girl/s with the same braids, Don’s story line of needing to be wanted is what sunk it for me. When he did seek sobriety, he took up swimming…the only time I ever saw him exercise and he happened to practice that which is most womblike. Unwanted by his birth mother, unwelcome by his stepmother and emotionally unconnected with his father, Don’s need to be wanted was hardwired in from childhood. Throughout the whole series the only person who wanted Don, who kept at it, through all the ups and downs was Jim Hobart at McCann Erikson. Nobody else wanted to put up with his shit for very long. And while he was welcome in Anna’s life, she never hungered for him. Jim Hobart did. And when Hobart barks at Roger about being sold a bad apple it’s not even Don, who has totally done a runner, that he wants to fire. Don will *always* have a job with Jim Hobart. And why not, in theory upon his return from the retreat  he was a part of one of the world’s most beloved ads of all time.  Although I’ll say it again. I hate that ad. And I hate the Dove Real Beauty campaign ads too. Taste good, clean my skin but back up off latching onto and co-opting social movements to sell your shit because it’s just super creepy. And it’s really creatively weak, which also galls me.

Anyhoo…in closing, the final nail in my hope for Don Draper coffin happens in the episode Lady Lazarus (Ep 8, 5th season) when Don has the chance to hear The Beatles hypnotic enlightenment driving “Tomorrow Never Knows” for the first time. I know he’s got a great stereo system, he’s in a comfy chair with a bevvie and he still can’t do it. The dreamiest song of the 21 century goes right over his head. In fact, he doesn’t even like it…he gets up less than halfway through and turns it off. Now that’s an indictment of his inability to find meaning, be it within or without! Weiner paid $250,000 to be able to play about 45 seconds of the song while we saw Don try to sit it out, as other characters underwent various transformations to that groovy meditative rock n roll mind tour, Don remained the same.

So whatever…a tiger never changes it stripes. It doesn’t mean I love the experience any less. I don’t. I’m so grateful to have lived to see it through to end.

No one is promised today, never mind tomorrow.

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And now for something completely different… Here’s something from the studio I’m working on…trying to get a price list together and take a bunch of stuff down to the gallery but working on my Mad Men thesis has taken up a lot of time!

Happy Spring!

A~

March Came In Like A Freakin’ Frozen Lion Mr.Bigglesworth!

Sweet Mother of all that is Holy. It’s cold up here in the foothills! I ran alone on Sunday ( too chilly for the hubs! ) and it was the coldest run I ever did. I’m going to guess that when the wind really got going it was probably -38 to -40. I had to put the hood on my shell up over top of my ninja mask and that’s never happened before. It’s best to lather yourself up with some sort of lotion before you go out because the wind will dry your skin out in a flash. It’s just harsh. And it’s also kind of great. People driving by in their cars and trucks just STARE at you like you’re a total freak. It’s very potent. Yeah…I’m hardcore. I’m WAY hardcore.Heh heh. I’m not really. You just gotta dress up right and it’s pretty much just like any other run. If you a runner who doesn’t run outside in the winter I recommend giving it a go. I figure I’ll be winter running until maybe Mid April. So it’s a good thing I like it!

Now, let’s quickly take a boo at what’s off the button press…

My shout out to True Detective’s Rust Cohle character. Image

I’ve read a lot of critiques about the show saying it’s misogynistic but I think it’s *about* misogyny, and not in a “isn’t it great to depress, use, abuse, enslave, cheat on and murder” women kind of way. It’s a crime drama version of Louis CK’s reflection on how dangerous men are to women. There’s a sad, frustrated humanity about the show that it appeals to my pessimistic nature. It’s good when we look in the mirror. Awareness is the first step to making bad things better. That idea seems to be what will drive the two main characters into whatever their finale is…they have acknowledged their failures and they will try to make amends.  As a bonus for me, it’s a green tinged program…like, literally green tinged in a good 80% of the scenes. And I like green…it creates a really dreamy, intensive vision that is almost hypnotic. It’s sort of the opposite of Steven Soderbergh’s use of blue tinting in many of his films. Blue tinting always makes me hyper aware that what I’m watching is in no way real. I can’t connect and get lost in the storytelling in blue tinted films or tv. With this greening of the scenes in True Detective it’s easy to feel pulled into the conversations, the rooms and the characters themselves. It’s bloody brill!

Anyhoo…all that talk about misogyny and that asshat that left the note for the female pilot on his airplane seat the other day (telling her women shouldn’t be pilots, they oughta be at home in the kitchen yadda yadda yadda)  made me create this piece…Image

I wanted to say “Hey, men who do their best to fight rape culture, encourage the education of girls and women, support equal pay, stand up for a woman’s reproductive rights and through all those and other various actions, free themselves from the effects on men via the patriarchy are the men that I hold in high regard and enjoy spending time with.” 

And finally it’s time for fresh comics for a fun filled wedding! The last set sold out to a super nice Mama whose seeing her last baby get hitched this summer. Mazel Tov! Good Things! Image

 

And that’s it for today. I’ve got to go stoke the wood stove. Because it’s March. In Southern Alberta…

*sigh*

Waves!

A~

Working For A Living!

The button press is all heated up from constant making these days! I’ve had a few fun custom orders from Brides to be…including one sweetheart from a family of optometrists! It was super fun finding just the right vibe for her big day. I can’t help but get excited making wedding schwag. WEDDINGS! They’re awesome. It’s soon to be 20 years since Mr.Totally Awesomepants and I said “I do” so I speak from experience.

Anyhoo…here’s a glimpse at what’s come off the press lately…

For sale on our etsy shop are these like, totally cool yearbook buttons from the 80’s.

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And then we designed this fun lot of Birds and Bees badges for the sweet vintage feeling that is all the rage these days. Viva la country wedding! These will be a limited run…at least in this shade, as they are done on some very vintage manila paper I scored a week ago at the thrift store. Schweet!

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And finally, made fresh this very morning, it’s one hundred awesome pieces featuring London, England and it’s many attractions.

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All are available for purchase as of this minute in our etsy shop.

On other fronts, Huzzah for Chinook Arch winds! Today’s running outfit was a single layer affair on the bottom and just a light jacket and shell on top. I got hot enough to ditch the hat even. Good stuff after 3 weeks of bitter cold runs where I’ve been layered up like the little brother in A Christmas Story.

The tomatoes are coming along nicely…all have been repotted in pretty containers and now the little window greenhouses are fully dedicated to annual flowers, including some fancy decorative corn and purple millet. I CAN’T WAIT FOR SPRING! Eeeeeeee.

Thanks for dropping in Dear Reader.

Have a great week,

A~

Hoarders: The Hot Sauce Edition

I DO NOT HAVE A  HOT SAUCE PROBLEM!

Well, I do have a hot sauce problem…and this problem is that the local grocery store stopped carrying Matouks West Indian Hot Sauce when they lost their supplier.
So I had to resource the second best thing, the Nu Pak West Indian Hot Sauce from the nearest Superstore. But then, those guys got all gentrified and they stopped carrying lots of their “ethnic” foods, including the Nu Pak sauce.

CRISIS!

I’ve been hooked on this tart and yummy burning stuff for more than a decade, starting with Calgary’s long gone but never forgotten Island Experience restaurant, where I first made the acquaintance of the firey delight known as Matouks. They charged 50 cents for a little tiny side of it. But who cares? FOR TONIGHT WE DANCE!

Anyhoo…fat story thin…I’ve found the elusive Matouks at ye old local Bulk Barn! Huzzah! And so Dear Reader, let us ladle out the chick pea curry with roasted taters and drown our sorrows in scaldingly hot sauce! We might as well…it seems it will never stop snowing here so I need something to get me through to gardening season.

Behold…my shame, my love, my hoard, my sauce…

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I figure it will last me until…oh…mid May. It’s so, so good. I like it on crackers too.

<has a hot sauce problem for sure

Hope all is going saucily with you Dear Reader!

A~

 

 

 

House Keeper – A New Painting for 2014

House Keeper

This lovely piece is fresh off the easel and available on the net at our etsy store. If it doesn’t go in a month or two I’ll take it down to the gallery, as people just love and covet it irl. But in the meantime I feel like it might be meant for someone out in the world who can’t get to the gallery. Time will tell I suppose.

I started my ‘mater seeds this week…lot’s of nice heirlooms, for fruits big and small. I’m debating on planting some purple cauliflower but I’m not sure it’s worth it. It needs a long season and it takes up a lot of the space in the garden and it gets buggy with cabbage moths. Yuck.

Speaking of pests, the deer have been in the yard a lot lately, digging at last years kale and chewing on the apple tree. I’m thinking of hanging some Irish Spring soap bars in recycled orange bag mesh to keep them away. And yet, I feel bad for them. They’re hungry. And the snow is very deep. I know if I were a hungry deer I’d love some of that kale…mmmm…kale…

And with that it’s off to bake some Kale and Spinach chips. So yummy.
Be good Dear Reader!
A~

My, like, totally new Valentine’s Day Card.

In the summer my delightful friend Shelli Belli and her gal pal came for tea and cocktails and they turned on their Valley Girl/Cali talk something fierce and it made me want to make a card in their honour! It’s a weird, minimal Valentine’s day card but the compulsion to create it has been soothed and I so can get back to regular activities…like making buttons for all the lady couples getting hitched out there. Mazel Tov Lady S and Lady J! Good Things!

Party On Dear Reader!

A~Image

Ciao 2013! Hello 2014.

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So…I’m just home from the longest 3 k run of my life. What is usually a breeze took me nearly 45 minutes and I ran it in a form that would best be described as hunchbacked. On Dec, 29, 2013 I was on track to log 1000 kms for this year, with only 7 k to go. The plan was to log 5 k on Sunday and then another 5 k on Tuesday to make a grand total of 1002 kms. But on Sunday, while doing an ironic stretch to ensure a safe second to last run, I tweaked my back. It didn’t hurt, it just felt a little weird. So me and the Hubs went for the scheduled 5k trot but by the time I got home I could barely stand. Monday morning I couldn’t get out of bed without  help and the pain was oh so bad. With only 2 days to meet my goal I pretty much resigned myself to not hitting the mark. It’s the Runner’s Lot, I told myself. We come so close and then, sometimes, we just can’t make the goal. I parroted to myself that in that reality there is a beautiful life lesson. A sort of Desiderata of the footstep. I talked a good lot of bullshit about how I was just going to accept the now frozen mess of my spine, take the 997 kms with gratitude and then nail the whole 1000 k next year. It would be even more of a challenge! Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

And then this morning I got up and thought “Fuck it. Let’s do 3 k and hit that thing!”. I decided that, having used the RICE method for a full 24 hours I could hobble the way up to Cougar Alley and back. I thought about my compression tights and put them on. They certainly helped the test hobble in the house go a little more smoothly than without them. Then I thought about my high waisted Spanx. There was even more compression and all the way up to the middle of my spine.

Huzzah! So I layered both pairs of tights and then geared up. It was -15 c today so there were a few layers but nothing extreme. I did  make some layer amends for the slow pace and lack of speed re: building up body heat. Properly attired and with the help of my Ice Spiked Asics, I made the move. Slow and steady and rolled forward so that I could baby my lower back, I took short steps, feet barely coming off the ground, all the time thinking hard about running in a modified chi form.

What a weird trip. Instead of seeing an upright view of the beautiful hoarfrost dressed bushes and trees I could only make out my shoe tops, up and down and up and down, like a sewing machine set to make tiny stitches. I moved over sheets of ice like a woman who just had a hip replacement and at one point saw a bit of ice in the shape of an donkey’s head, complete with a bare patch for an eye. I took it as a sign that I was being an ass and grimly went forward. 3 k seemed more like a 16 k I did once in a terrible blizzard when I was training for the half. Only stubborn Basque pride carried me through. Well, that and the knowledge that to stop and walk home would become an icy trip as what sweat I had built up in this truncated jog would freeze in a flash. With the final one k to go I could feel my back complaining but we slowed down and tucked up ever further and brought that baby home. And so 2013, I can put you to rest the way I wanted to. Thank you feets! Thank you people who make my gear! Thank you to all my road friends…walkers, runners, bikers and the lone skateboarder…you guys enrich my life with your support and friendly ways. A special shout out to Shelli and her man Jeff. If it wasn’t for the road we would never have met this fine year. Next years goal is another 1000k or better…I was thinking about going the Bruce Dern route and running every single day but it’s looking like that isn’t going to happen, starting with day 1! Oh, the mockery!(Mr.Dern nailed a daily run for 17 years! How cool is that!?) I suppose my back will tell me what it thinks about running every day in 2014 once I peel off the compression gear! I’m somewhat afeared!

And so with that running themed ramble I wish you all a happy 2014.

Pax!

A~