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~

Tis The Season For Winter Running Tips!

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As the snow flies throughout North America the running boards on Pinterest are full of blogs with this season’s round of winter running tips. They’re usually pretty good. Layering is pretty much covered, as is staying visible, running with some sort of grip on your feet ( ICE SPIKES!!! ), logging your run with someone, esp. if it’s long or during very bad weather, and making sure you’re hydrated. What I haven’t seen is a post that says “Hey, if you’re going running out there, you should moisturize a good 20 minutes before heading out.” The cold is a cruel, drying, cracking master when it comes to the skin. And Alberta is drier than a lot of places, making it extra super important to add it to your pre run checklist. You want to give your lotion time to sink in and not be wet on your face or hands…it’s pretty nippy if you pop out before it’s soaked into your skin. Brrrrr.

And sunscreen! Wear your sunscreen! It’s still UV-ey out there and you want to avoid sun damage and keep your skin healthy and happy. You could kill two birds and do a moisturizing sun screen. BAM! Nailed it.
Another crucial bit to remember is to leave a little extra time if you have stuff to do afterwards…because winter conditions can bite you in the rump and cost you time. I’m a good 2-4 minutes slower than usual due to the sandy floppy road conditions so I’m booking an extra 5 minutes for due back by time. I hate rushing!

Finally, remember your ID. Because in the winter run dressing flurry of tights, more tights, a shell, running bra, shirt, zip jacket, shell jacket, earphones in, ninja mask on, putting the half mitts (on your jacket sleeve) up and over your thumb, then your gloves ( I’ve got the Nike ones that are gloves with a little mitt overlay and I love them. They’re great for venting and temp.control. ) grabbing your stick ( Yes, you grab your stick…you don’t have a stick? You should totes get one! ) and then doing your sneakers up it’s super easy to leave without your ID. I wear dog tags to keep things simple. I keep them with my keys so I don’t forget. I love the dog tags, it’s not wallety…it’s compact and sensible. I highly recommend if you want to de clutter your run.

Oh yeah, one last tip…I also tuck the cord from my listening device in through my jacket sleeve to keep it from freezing and rubbing back and forth thereby breaking all those tiny wires in the cord.

That’s my addition to the winter running blog tip world!

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If you look up at the top of this pic you can just see the moon, making for a glorious trip in -20 c. Zoom zoom!

That’s it for today…chores are calling me…” button….buuuuuuutton….come clean the house…”
Every time I think I’m out, the chores pull me back in.
“I know it was you Sink Full Of Dishes, you broke my heart…”
( That’s a Godfather/Fredo reference in case you’re like “What is she talkin’ about?”.)

Ola!

A~

Expanding Venues and Making More Stuff

We’re pleased to announce that we’re now selling items via shoply and zibbet, in addition to our etsy shop. We’re busy making new items for all locations and we’re eyeing the mess that our garden with hopes of getting at it soon.

I leave the foliage intact in the Autumn for something they call “Winter Interest” but we go SO MUCH SNOW this year that everything just got bent over and crushed. C’est la vie as the french say.

Anyhoo…here is my favorite photo currently for sale…it’s at the zibbet shop…

http://www.zibbet.com/buttonempire

Come on over and see us. Buy something and you’ ll recieve some awesome treats added in.

Our Buttons On Glamour.com

Perfect For Valentines Day

Perfect For Valentines Day

 

We are dead chuffed to announce that our beloved buttons made it to the interwebs in the biggest way to date when they appeared on www.glamour.com. (Click the image for the link to the article. Come on, you know you wannnnna!)

These have been blogged about by private individuals many times ( and we’ve loved them all! Often they appear in wedding blogs after the magic day, photos of the buttons next to wedding rings and bridal bouquets…squee! ) but it seems like we hit the big time this Valentines Day.  It’s wonderful to know that they’re still working their super cute magic. Huzzah! We’ve sold dozens to new etsy members and we assume they found us via the article, so Thanks Glamour, we appreciate the props and the biz. Kissing during the recession seems to be a most popular activity!

I’ll blog soonish with some awesome new stuff…maybe even later today. For now,  I must away to get started on some Thai Coconut soup for lunch. Yummy!

Au reviour World,

A~

Capitol Record Club

Magents of Awesomeness

Sometimes, in my never ending hunt for cool vintage materials with which to make cool schwag I come upon something that makes my heart beat a little faster. That happened this afternoon when, at a site I can not disclose for purposes of hoarding and greediness, I found an magazine from 1968 in which there was a cherry red and like new ad for the Capitol Record Club. In less than an hour I had cut and buttoned and photographed these very sweet magents into being.

I know these will sell. The last ones (made almost a year ago…these ads are SUPER rare!) sold really quickly…I still miss them. I’ll miss these too…but they’ll go to someone who adores them I’m sure. Why? Because, they are so freakin’ cool.

It was a weird, overcast day here today so we rented a schwack of foriegn/indie/documentry films today. We enjoyed “Fido”, a colour saturated zombie story with a difference and “King of Kong” a really interesting documentry about the Donkey Kong world record and the politics and shenanigans and odd bravery surrounding it’s rightful owner. I loved that film. If you can find it I’m giving you the ok to rent it.  It’s worth the time out of your life.

On that note, we’ll check in soonish with other stuff to say and show.

G’Night World,

A~

New Works

Anna K

I’ve been super busy in the last couple of weeks.

Buttons sell well during the holiday season, even if it is a recession, so I’ve had the punch out quite a bit.

No matter what people love to declare their smooching wishes and President Obama freakin’ won  the election (huzzah!) so we had to make a tonne of those babies.

available on buttonempire.etsy.com
Besides button business, I’ve been trying to keep the very small quarters of the empire workable, but let’s face it, we need an extra room. I miss our SK digs like crazy. And yet, somehow I got the painting bug this week and made the first piece in this post and the all following pieces as well…
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I’m doing a sort of homemade scratchboard technique here.
I’m using acrylics because they’re easy to clean and therefore easier to use in a small space.
I paint the surface flat black and then work up from there in colour and then I scratch and scrape down into the black using various pointy objects.
Finally I burnish the surface with a palette knife so there is a lovely gleam while maintaining a textured surface to hold the viewers interest.
I love the dreamy visual look I get from this process.
These are small squares on masonite so they’re affordable galore, easy to ship and easy to frame up on the cheap.
I’d love to be doing larger, more complicated works but that will have to wait until the summer.
(*le sigh* as Pepe Le Pew used to say.)
With that, I’ve got to go do a quick Friday clean up, make a homemade pizza sauce and beat down the yummiest homemade herbed pizza dough made this side of Italy.
Then, I need to get my Lehrer Newshour/wine drinking in, sit back and sup while I see how far down the tube the world went since I woke up this morning.
Oh.
And I need to use the Wii Fit.
Do not forget, fellow Wii Fit owners, that thing is watching you…
and me…
and Bruno.
Damned Wii…it’s a little fitness narc!
Later Gators,
A~