Tuesday, May 29, 2012

some thoughts about "mad men"

I am by no means someone who is entirely moral. My morality has shifted over the years, especially since I believe I am an example to my children and I do not want to do anything to make them do anything other than hold their heads high. I know right from wrong and I try to think ethically. As a future lawyer, I think that's very important.

I was in no way surprised by "Mad Men" finally whoring Joan out to a client. But I wanted to be proven wrong. Even in the 1960s, surely more men than Don would be disgusted by the idea of prostituting a co-worker, and a friend, to a pig of a man?

I have been underwhelmed by "Mad Men" since Don left Betty. I didn't watch most of last season and only watch it now because it's preceded by the excellent "Game of Thrones" and a way to spend some time with my husband, who also drops the kid to school the next morning.

Nothing seems to be happening. Plot threads are opened and then dropped and we're supposed to accept things. For a 12 or 13 episode series, it does not have the tightness of "The Shield," the entirety of which took place over maybe 2 or 3 years. There is always comparison to "The Sopranos" because Matt Weiner cut his teeth with David Chase. So much of "Mad Men" is Soprano-esque, to the point where I feel I've already seen "The Sopranos" thank you very much, so I can watch another show now.

So I'm irritated by this show. Not everything. I enjoy the Lane Pryce storyline (though yet another plot thread seems to have been abandoned with him and the girl from the first ep of this season) and it seems so real, especially in times like these.

I like the Peggy thread very much. Her rising star thread is perfect on this show and she is one of the rare characters that show continuity and growth. Not even Don has done this.

I don't think this is the show about the Betty-Sally interaction, as intriguing as it is. It is so good, in fact, that I wish there was more about Sally growing up. That can't happen on the show called "Mad Men" and I feel irritated when we see these 90-second scenes with them that take us nowhere. And now, Betty's whole plot line is just boring. I would have honestly liked to see her remain married to Don or be single. Henry the politician is boring as hell. He doesn't interact with the children in any way. His mother gets more screen time with them. I don't mind imagining what kind of teenager and woman Sally Draper is going to become, but I feel I get very little on which to base my imagingings.

But, back to Joanie. I think it's uncharacteristic for Roger to go along with this as much as he did. It's not as if he has an issue with Joan and another man, but I don't think anything he's shown us has led me to believe he'd be okay with prostituting the woman who has made the biggest impact on his life. And after all that shit about being Kevin's father? I'd believe that the child with Joan would have more of an effect on him than his other son and daughter.

Am I giving "Mad Men" too much credit for morality? After all, the show does prize itself on showcasing 60s immorality. Sex, drugs, and all the -isms (racisim, sexism). It's a sinner's paradise, isn't it? But this particular choice, sending Joanie, the amazing confident sexy brilliant Joanie, to sleep with someone to get Jaguar, rubs me the wrong way. Is it because it's Jaguar that the writers felt it was ok? I mean, would they make her fuck for a Ford? Well... I'd fuck Mike Rowe for a Ford. Hell, I'd fuck him and pay HIM!

But I digress. And that guy was NO Mike Rowe, let me tell you. Not that that makes it better. He COULD have been Mike Rowe and it still would have been awful to me.

And I don't just mean because it's Joanie. Four men deciding to send a woman, any woman, to get fucked for an account, is gross. It's one thing to explore how women felt about using their bodies to get ahead. No one can deny that happened, maybe still does. But this didn't emanate from Joan. She wasn't even thinking about Kevin. Lane put that in her head and Stinky Pete twisted her words to convince the partners. How Pete doesn't get beat up more is beginning to concern me. Don should be next in line to give him a well-deserved ass-kicking, followed closely by Joan and Trudy.

But now I'm talking about it like I accept it. I think it was wrong for the show to go there. I would have enjoyed the tension in the office from just the offer being made. I feel gross and dirty watching "Mad Men" now, and I barely liked the show to begin with. Maybe I would feel different if I did.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

being vacant

I am on vacation until June 4 and trying to make the most of it. By that, I mean sleeping like a motherfucker! I've been pretty successful so far.

I've also been down with a cold for a few days. John and I got it at the same time and he actually took 2 days off last week because he was ill. Derek is fine and has been a bundle of energy, offering to make cups of tea and give love-ups.

I was not happy with finals. I know I could have done better but it was a bitch studying for so many at once. Con Law made me cry. I saw a lot of hair-pulling and near-tears in the room and one friend said she didn't even get to a whole question. I was at a complete loss for the exam. The one thing I did not do, did not even expect to show up because I thought the prof was using it as an example, came and I had no idea what in the hell it was. I experienced a kind of terror I've never felt in an exam and I barely made it through high school.

My summer class starts on May 31, but I can't go to the first class. My internship starts June 4, and I am getting excited about it. I really feel like I made a good decision to go after that and it was the only place I applied to using Spring Recruitment at school. Since I got a position way back in March, I've had to turn down two other places that called me for interviews, one at the NYC Housing Authority, which would also have been good experience. But, I think being at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings will be better because I'll experience hearings with the NYCHA from the judge's perspective. OATH only took 4 interns for summer, so I am hoping that the experience translates into marketability when I start looking for a job in a year.

I get two weeks off before school starts again and Chris is coming to spend a few days in NY with his Ma. He and I are really looking forward to it. I bought him a camera as a present. It's so teeny-tiny, it could fit in his pocket with barely a bulge! We were talking about where he'd want to go, apart from Times Square, and I was reeling off a list of places we could try to fit into his trip. Then I asked him if there was anything he especially wanted to see or any place he wanted to go. He said he wanted to go to a Games Stop!!!

I nearly fell off the sofa during that chat! Um... there is one just 2 blocks from where we live, even on the same side of the street. He and Derek can walk over there any time and go nuts. I don't even have to be involved. Derek is becoming champion of learning his neighborhood, so I can send them by themselves.

After a spate of naughtiness from the Dereker, he's rebounded with excellence and filled his parents with joy and pride. Homework was becoming an issue again and we had to set some serious rules about it. And he's been doing very well. His teacher gives the class a math packet every few days and tells the class when it's due. Last week, Der got one on Monday, due Thursday, and finished it by Monday.

We've told him that we don't want homework just sitting around waiting to be done. No packet has been so long that he couldn't finish it in one evening, freeing him up the rest of the week. They are challenging and he has to ask for help every now and then, but he gets it done.

Come Thursday of last week, Derek's done all his homework for the week and was the only kid in his class to finish the math packet. He told us the other thought it was due on Friday. As a reward, John let him off the hook with his other 2 evening chores. Every day, he has to write an entry in his journal and feed the cats. I thought he'd be thrilled to get out of journal-writing, but he told me that Daddy even offered to watch the cats and put away their food when they were done. Kid's a riot!

On Friday, I picked him up from school and while we were walking, he couldn't stop talking about how no one else had finished their math packets. I wasn't sure if it was bothering him or he couldn't believe how he had done it. Even when we were talking about something else, he would just bring it up, telling me how much homework the rest of the class had to do this weekend and he had none. I told him that he should be proud of himself and Daddy and I were proud of him. He said, "And that's my reward. That you are proud of me." I bought him an icy!

And I don't have to tell you what that evening's journal entry was about! I think he's finally got it out of his system. And I think he's finally learning what we've been desperately trying to get across: do your responsibilities and do them well. He's so carefree and thoughtless that he pays no mind to what he has to do and it's been testing us. We really felt like we'd tried everything, because this has been going on for years.

But now, we're watching him grow up. We even let him ride his scooter to Saturday Club all by himself. Needless to say, we were both panicked out of our minds. I must've called everyone I knew who would be at his school that day to make sure he got there. He did, safe and sound. He was so happy to go by himself. He wrote in his journal that he was glad Mummy and Daddy were not there to keep telling him things, and he was a little worried about getting lost, even though he knew exactly where he was going, but he saw a friend and his dad and he joined up with them to walk the last little block to the school.

This was just an experiment to see if he could do it. We're not going to let him go to school until we can add him to our cell phone plan at the end of this year. We're hoping he can start going by himself from January, depending on the weather. It is getting very hard for me to wake up to take him to school when I don't have a class till 2 in the afternoon. I'm finding that sleeping later lets me stay up later and I am more productive in the evenings and night. Him going to school by himself means I can stay later at school.

It also means not really seeing him or John, but it's only for a few more months and it's a very important few more months. Everything I do in my final year is prepping for the Bar and getting a job. I need to focus and I think I might need to do it at the expense of John and Derek. I don't know yet, but I am preparing for it and I need to find a way to prepare them as well. I wish someone could do that for me because it sounds so selfish when I talk about it. I guess I'll have to see how it goes.