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~

Ciao 2014! Hello 2015!

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Isn’t that a lovely photo? I took it while doing a 5 k run last week. Rather a lot of hoarfrost made for a winter wonderland.

And speaking of running, I’m just back from my last run of the year, unless I change my mind and get in another 5 k tomorrow…which is tempting I admit…but we’ll just go with this for now…1agphotoasy

Yeah, that’s right. The elusive PR for distance was set by lil’ old me. I’m not the fastest runner nor do I run the longest nor do I run the toughest runs. But I do run. This year I enjoyed good health and therefore I never missed a single scheduled run. I even added a few during the summer, hence the new distance record. I’d love to break it again next year and I’m working on figuring out the math. I’d so love to nail 1000 miles or as we Canucks say 1600 kms next year. Only time will tell but in the meanwhile, I’m beaming with success and self love. Way to go button! We rock!

Other news from 2014 is that I went vegan this summer. After 20 years of being vegetarian a news story about animal abuse at a dairy in BC just made me realize that I wanted out. I thought this would be so hard. I rather enjoyed cheese and had yogurt every single day in my smoothie. (Eggs are no biggie, I stopped eating them years ago. 2 tablespoons of flax in warm water make an eggless egg perfect for baking.) After I quit dairy I started following vegan boards on pinterest and it totally opened my eyes about the connection between the dairy industry and veal production. I would never eat veal even before I went vegetarian and to learn that the side effect of my milk consumption was the veal industry made me feel so very sad and full of regret.

So sad and full of regret that I had a good cry about it.1agphotoz

On the upside I’ve found that cashew cream is super easy to make, hummus makes a great snack in place of a cheese plate, vegan protein powder is a fine replacement for yogurt in my smoothies and that I feel much better since quitting dairy. Live and learn and do unto others as you would have them do unto you and better late than never and forgiveness is a gift you give yourself and so forth and so on. We only have so much time to control our food destiny and I’ve grabbed the bull by the horns, no pun intended, and made the final big switch. Unless I become a Fruitarian as seen in the film Notting Hill.*insert winkey face emoticon here*

Finally 2014 saw my husband and I mark our 20 wedding anniversary. He’s such a good egg. He puts up with all my malarkey and stays steadfast and true. He’s the best.

And so Dear Reader, I hope you have had a happy year…I know we did. With that I’m off to stoke the woodstove and make some spicy sandwiches with the so awesome Veganaise. It is SO good! I totally recommend it. And it’s made with Solar power! You can’t beat that!

Peace out 2014!

A~

Collage Fever and Hula Hooping!

 

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ACEO fever struck this long weekend, taking the freshly cleaned house from spotless to a hot mess of paper piles, books, magazines, various bits and bobs, paint brushes, glue sticks…all liberally sprinkled throughout the house. Oy vay! What a mashugana! Classic Amy.

Ah well…such is the creative process…it’s timing is often inconvenient! I’ve amassed a large collection to pull from including some great vintage movie magazines, an amazing 1940’s Sears catalogue, some horrific Sears catalogues from the 1970’s and a bunch of old knitting pattern books. I like to pick my lady and then go from there. I call the series of female based pieces “She” and the ornithological  based pieces are a part of my ongoing “Birds” series.

These are all available in the etsy shop.

 

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Other news in the life is I LOVE hula hooping! It is so much fun! I do it everyday for about half an hour.

I started with this hoop. The trick to hooping is start large and weighted and then don’t bail on doing it when you can’t get the hoop to stay up. Just keep picking it up and doing it and before you know it you’ll be hooping!
I’ve since passed the big hoop onto a friend and I’ve moved down to a lighter, smaller hoop which is more of a challenge to keep up. You have to go really fast to not lose it. But that’s the fun, you gotta hoop hardcore to maintain the circle. Woot woot! I’ve made it into a hiit workout by hooping normally for 1 minute and then hooping with my arms up over my head for the next minute. Do that 5 times and you get some great heart rate action. Plus it’s SO FUN. HOOP! Do it. You’ll love it!

That’s it for now…gotta go get a 5 k in and then it’s vegan T Day leftovers. Yum yummy yum yum.

Ciao!

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~

House Keeper – A New Painting for 2014

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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~

Fare Thee Well, Jesse Pinkman

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I came late to Breaking Bad. Like final season late. Which in a way was a good thing…beginning at the end and working your way back means that you’re making connections that you would never have made starting at point A. The big take away for me was that Aaron Paul nailed that role. Nailed it full on. All the other characters read as just that for me, characters…it wasn’t a bad thing…it was just oil on water. Mr.Paul managed to *steep* himself into the role. His performance made me wonder how Jesse went from being an artistic, enthusiastic youth to barely coping drug addict. I assume he was self medicating, maybe because his little league coach was up to more than just batting practice. (See Theo Fleury.)

Anyhoo…between my imaginings as to the hows and whys of Jesse’s addiction, his subsequent fall from large G Grace and the total failure of his elder Walter White to be a trustworthy authority figure, my empathy and maternal instinct got all riled up.

I just wanted the Jesse Pinkman to find some Peace. Peace with a capitol P. And I guess a part of me wants to share in this imagined recovery. Henceforth this goofy, but sweet button, that I made while Netflix has been running me on a Breaking Bad jag.  

In other news, the season here is coming to an end but with an extra 20 frost free days over the usual schedule.I actually managed to grow corn. Non GMO, tasty heritage corn! Encrable! I learned how to make corn tortillas from scratch and then made super tasty bean and corn tacos topped with homegrown tomatoes and cilantro chutney. Really top notch if I do say so. Best I ever had.

 

Should you fancy a Jesse Pinkman badge you can grab it here…https://www.etsy.com/listing/164722710/id-rather-be-building-boxes-with-jesse?ref=shop_home_active

Hope all is well with you Dear Reader.Happy Fall!

A~

Go Fightin’ Irish

I’m on ur st patrix dae card, drinkin ur green beerz

Everybody is Irish on St.Patrick’s day.

And I admit it.

I’ve seen a pint or two of green beer in my day.

Bleg.

I like my beer on the tangy side of shandy…with the juice of a lime or two added to a pint. *mmmmmmm* Sour.

Ummm…hey, look what I made with my gocco and my etsy friend madeinlowells wunderbar photo of her handsome cat fella, Mr.Chet.

The Chetster.

Chet o rama.

Anyhoo…

She let me use a pic of Chet holding a brew.

I did my magic in the graphic arts department, added the hilarious tag line and printed it onto a screen via my gocco PG printer.

AWESOME!

From the ok to use madein’s photo to having a bunch of cool cards that were printed , photographed and for sale on the etsy site was less than two hours.

 And I made Lunch in between the computer part and the inky part.

Gocco Printmaker, I Love You.

I really  hope any  readers visiting the blog are having a nice week.

Ciao,

A~