Friday, July 11, 2008


(Written last night) Rex and I are out on the back deck, keeping an eye on the birds. It's been very smoky the last few days though it's not so bad now. Frankly, it's nice just being outside for a bit, irritated throat and all. Except for the expedition to Mom's last weekend, I've been feeling very cooped up for the past few weeks.

M and I watched the first three episodes of "Mad Men" last night, ostensibly a post millennial perspective of a Madison Avenue advertising firm set in 1960, but mostly a rigorously accurate period soap opera of human relations, mostly of the heterosexual kind. It is pretty amusing seeing liquor bottles in the office and a Lucky Strike hanging off nearly every lip. People smoking in restaurants! On the train! In the office! Pouring a highball in the office! At 4:30! Phones…with cords! And nary a laptop to bee seen. I remember a little of that--smoking sections on planes, for instance, which make the non-smoking sections seem oxymoronic now. I wonder if the tradition of the subordinate having the boss and his wife over for dinner fell out of favor because, as women became the boss, there was a greater awareness of just what a hassle that was? Or maybe as more women joined the workforce, there wasn't anyone at home with time to entertain? I remember Mom telling me about one of her boss entertainment experiences--making French onion soup to start but accidentally leaving the little crocks in the oven just a bit too long and the soup disappeared into the bread. (Correct me if I got that wrong, Mom.) What if something like that meant that your husband wouldn't be promoted?

M was not too thrilled with the club-you-over-the-head-with -sexism/racism scenes in the show, and it does make you wonder just how bad it was. Or maybe he was just offended by the joke: "Your wife and your lawyer are drowning in the lake, calling for help. You have a choice to make. Do you have lunch or see a movie?" I admit that I was attracted to the set dressing and discussions about what makes advertising images and phrases resonate with people, what drives them to buy. And the portrayal of the sophisticated, liberated, free spirited artist living in the Village who served as the main character's mistress and muse.

Television. Far more fun and interesting to write about than my life right about now. Except for last weekend at Mom's which was really great. Rex and I got up there later on Friday than I had planned, but in plenty of time to unpack and go down to Mom's opening reception at CityArt. I hung around for a bit, then had dinner across the street at The Record and sat on the big deck with a post prandial glass of vino, watching the tourists go by. My stepdad joined me and we took a tour of the town. There's a fancy furniture shop now, a sort of town square structure being built (just outside the public restrooms for some mysterious reason), and a new art gallery being built to join CityArt and the other gallery space run by an old acquaintance who has become quite tattooed with time. We stayed for the Parade of the Horribles and performance by the Extra Action Marching Band, quite a good show. Saturday night was a walk to the beach with dog and stepdad--I really missed my camera when we came across a skinny red racer snake valiantly trying to ingest a plump, stiff field mouse but it wasn't getting much farther than its nape. Saturday afternoon I went with Mom, brother and family to a reserve for rare African animals located just off Main Street in Pt. Arena--so strange to see zebra and antelope there! It was very inspiring--made me want to start my own reserve, but for rare and heritage domestic breeds of animals…A lovely group dinner with other friends also visiting for the weekend, then got cleaned out at poker by my brother. I stayed a day later than I had planned, but it was good to relax a little bit on Sunday morning and we did some much-needed planning for the DoJ. Rex moped all the way home, and when we hit the heat coming inland from the coast, I was glad I had stayed a little longer.

Reading Nancy's blog last night, I got to daydreaming a little about my days in New York. After I left my job at NYU, I temped for a while and one of my stints took me up to an office just a few blocks from the waterfall she mentions. I "discovered" it while wandering around one lunch hour exploring the neighborhood and often returned. I particularly liked that the water thundered down so loudly that conversation near it was impossible, it drowned out other conversations, traffic…it was just you and the waterfall.


At 5:20 AM, July 21, 2008, Blogger Nancy said...

That's really cool that we share a memory of New York!


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