30 October 2010

This Week in Awesome (10/30/10)

It's back, as promised. Happy Halloween!

Trick: do you own Ray-Ban sunglasses with the stupid little logo printed on the top edge of the lens? The Trad shows you how to remove it with relative ease.

Treat: fast food items available in other countries, but not the US. Hm, maybe this should count as a trick also. (BuzzFeed via Consumerist)

Got you costume squared away yet? If not, maybe some of these featured on Racked will inspire you: costumes for couples, the sexy and/or slutty (there's only one in this group for guys, but don't let that stop you--if there was ever a day for trashy cross-dressing, Halloween is it), and even some cute baby and pet costumes. You're welcome.

28 October 2010

Matters of Style

SAR must-read site The Awl launched a sister site this week, The Hairpin. By "sister" I mean primarily by and for the ladies, but of course anyone can read it, and they've already gotten a fair amount of attention around the webs with this hilarious piece, a woman's perspective on the recent trend of guys dressing better. I strongly urge you to take a few minutes and go read it.

Elsewhere, I came across a deal I want to share: Lands' End Canvas is offering an extra 20% off anything that's already on sale. Currently the sale section is a mix of items from fall and the earlier spring/summer collection, and there are some pretty good deals in there.

But among them are two pairs of Allen Edmonds shoes, the MacNeil wingtip and the Leeds calfskin plain-toe, both of which normally retail for $325 per pair. That's not terribly unreasonable for made-in-USA dress shoes that, properly cared for, will last you a lifetime, but here each style is on sale for $260, and the additional discount brings them down to $208, which is 36% off the original price (I checked that with a calculator), a really excellent discount on these shoes.

(The offer is good through next Wednesday, 11/3, and includes free shipping if you spend $50. You'll need to enter the codes CANVASPLUS20 and 2050 in the appropriate places during checkout.)

Addendum: I guess I wasn't the first person to notice this deal and post about it. Some of the commenters over at Sartorially Inclined are reporting varying degrees of success with this promotion; the upshot is that you are probably better off getting a customer service rep on the phone.

27 October 2010

A Rationale for Helping Out

Our friend Dave's band The Rationales have finished recording their first full album, The Distance in Between. To accomplish the last few steps leading to its release, they're asking for a little help from friends and fans.

To that end, the band has teamed up with Kickstarter to raise the funds to cover the mixing and post-production costs. Interested parties can donate as little as $1 to help the band achieve its goal, with various reward packages available, including merchandise and tickets to the CD release party.

They are already more than 40% of the way to their goal, so as a friend I'm helping them out by spreading the word.

26 October 2010

Ad Nausea

Have you noticed how stuff follows you around on the web now? Go browse some shoes at Zappos, and you'll then notice display ads on other sites with little pictures of the shoes you were looking at.

That's one thing, but because we're in the final week of election season, I'm now getting pestered by political ads. I saw a couple of ads for local races on a site that wasn't local. And yesterday, while I was watching a show on Hulu while eating lunch, I got a political ad between segments of the show. They must be using IP addresses to determine location, and then serve an ad pertinent to my area, as if the biannual bombardment of them on regular television wasn't annoying enough already.

25 October 2010

Expense Report #29

The shoe upgrade project continues... last Wednesday I got an email from Endless, the shoe site, for a two-day promotion: $25 off $100, $50 off $200, $75 off $300.

Endless marks stuff down fairly frequently, so sometimes you stumble on bargains when you aren't necessarily expecting to find them. That was the case here: I found a pair of Cole Haan three-eyelet moccasin-style shoes with lug soles that had been marked down from $200 to $110. They were available in wide, which is always a plus for me, so with the additional discount they were $85.

Endless offers free two-day shipping on most shoes (certain shoes qualify for free overnight, but I can't discern any logic to it), so I had them on Friday. Since I never really know what to expect these days in terms of fit, I was pleased to find that these shoes are quite comfortable. They're a dark brown tumbled leather, different from anything else I have at the moment, and they will nicely replace an old pair of Johnston & Murphy shoes in a similar style that just aren't comfortable enough to walk in any longer.

I also acquired a very nice charcoal herringbone tweed sportcoat from a seller on Style Forum. It's J. Crew, from two years ago, with fabric from the Moon mill in the UK, but unlike some of their lower-priced sportcoats, this one was made in Mexico. Finding stuff on Style Forum in larger sizes is a challenge, so that's why I grabbed this. The sleeves are a little long, so it's already at the tailor, and I'll pick it up Saturday.

24 October 2010

Programming Note

This past week was a bit too much for me, with various issues to deal with at work on top of my main monthly deadline, and family visiting for the past four days. Basically what I'm saying is that there is no TWiA this week--there's plenty of awesome out there on the internets, I just didn't have time to go out there and find it. We will resume this feature next Saturday. Thanks for your patience.

23 October 2010

Kid Wrangling

The whole Santa Cruz contingent is in town, including our infant niece, to attend a wedding. They arrived Thursday morning, and the nephews had expressed interest in going to the aquarium. When the Mrs. first told me about the plan to go yesterday, I thought she meant everyone was going, but I found out on Thursday that her intention was for us to take the boys, allowing their mother and stepdad to do other things that day.

It took me by surprise at first, but I didn't really have a problem with it. The boys are about to turn ten (in fact, turning ten tomorrow) and three months from being 13. In the past we would have hesitated to consider this kind of an outing, but they're old enough now, and in the past couple of years they have made a lot of progress in moderating their public behavior.

So yesterday morning we drove over to Harvard Square so I could purchase discount passes to the aquarium (a perk offered by my employer) and then out to Concord to pick them up where they are staying. They got some stern warnings about behavior from both mother and stepdad, but they know from experience that their aunt doesn't put up with any crap. Basically that's her job description: not taking crap from people for a living.

During the car ride they reenacted scenes from their favorite movies and YouTube clips, which kept them occupied most of the way into the city. When we were driving around the Greenway area, hoping to find a parking space, they got a little antsy, so we gave up and parked in a garage. We had warned them that it was chilly and windy, but the younger one insisted on wearing shorts. As we made our way along the waterfront from the garage, they got a taste of just how chilly it really was.

Our visit to the aquarium went just fine. In fact it lasted less than an hour, because both boys said they were bored. The penguins held their interest better than just about anything else. We had thought they would enjoy the museum of science more, but the aquarium had been specifically requested. Whatever; we were all hungry by then, so we went off in search of lunch.

Our original plan was to walk to the North End and go to Pizzeria Regina, but before we'd even made it across the Greenway, we realized that it was too cold to walk that far, so we detoured to the Quincy Market location. The boys devoured the pepperoni pizza quickly, declaring it good.

We drove back to our house, because we had to tend to the dog, and the boys wanted to see her. They also got an hour or so to indulge in the pleasure of the Cartoon Network, because while they are allowed to watch movies at home and have access to Netflix, they don't have any regular TV service.

When we got in the car to return them to their parental units, they started getting kind of aggressive toward each other. We sat in the driveway and waited it out. By the time we were on route 2 heading west, the older one had fallen asleep, possibly still jet-lagged, so the rest of the ride was quiet.

When we got to our destination, their stepdad said, "You didn't lose them? We would have paid you extra."

21 October 2010

Beep. Beep. Beep.

One of the upstairs neighbors set off the smoke alarms about a week ago. We're not sure exactly what happened, but in the past former residents did things like leave something in their toaster oven too long, causing it to go off.

This only merits mentioning because the detectors are hard-wired, so if one goes off, they all go off, including the ones in our apartment, and they are painfully loud. When it goes off, we literally have to cover our ears until it stops. The dog isn't too thrilled, either.

And then, as a bonus, there is one detector on the wall at the very top of the stairs going up to the second floor that has been beeping once every 30 seconds or so for the past week. You can hear it anywhere in the house, even in the basement, even from outside. It's not loud enough or frequent enough to keep us from sleeping or anything like that, but in the lack of other sound (from the TV, for example) it is fairly noticeable, and after a while it's kind of maddening.

I emailed one of the folks upstairs, and she said she doesn't know why it's continued to beep all this time. She's asked the landlord to come around and deal with it, but who knows when that will happen?

20 October 2010

And Another Thing...

I had another thought about the Mad Men finale, which I should have included in last night's post, but it was getting late and I was worn out from work:

The pregnancy thing is getting a bit overdone. In season one we had Peggy's stealth pregnancy and the relinquishment of the subsequent child, which still echoed into this season when Pete announced that Trudy was pregnant.

At the end of season two Betty tells Don she's pregnant, and it goes on to figure in the first few episodes of season three.

Now we have Joan, pregnant by Roger, planning to have the baby and pass it off as Greg's. The show is running out of (significant) female characters to impregnate, and maybe that's just as well, because it's getting a little soap-operaish up in there.

On the other hand, it was nice to see Joan and Peggy share that moment after Don's announcement. It was nicely played, and after working together for almost six years, you'd think they would at least be friendly, if not friends, and this short but telling scene suggested that was the case. Perhaps we'll see their alliance strengthen next season?

19 October 2010

Mad Men Season 4, Episode 13: "Tomorrowland"

Apologies for the lateness--it's deadline week, and work did a good job of getting in the way of life yesterday and today.

[Standard disclaimer: I have avoided reading any other recaps, writeups, or other commentary on this episode before writing this, so if I express something similar to thoughts you've read elsewhere, it's entirely a coincidence. If you have not watched the episode, assume there are spoilers ahead and act accordingly.]

For a season-ending episode, this wasn't what I was expecting. I feel like Matthew Weiner and company threw us a little bait and switch here. Story lines took surprising turns that I'm sure not everyone feels happy about.

We had the big buildup about the uncertainty of the agency's future, and the only real change there was the pantyhose account, not exactly a big deal. No disrespect to Peggy and Ken; they saw the opportunity and made it happen. But didn't you feel like something bigger was about to happen? So the agency is still in business for now, and maybe everything's going to turn out fine, but it ended up being anticlimactic.

It looked like Don was moving toward a serious commitment to Faye, then he gets stars in his eyes for Megan. I think this had at least something to do with Faye's reaction to Sally's behavior and her admission that she isn't comfortable around children, and Megan's subsequent comforting of Sally after she fell down in the hall. Don saw Megan's maternal side in that situation, and I think it affected his judgment.

Don's proposal ended up seeming like a bit of a desperation move, like grabbing onto the first thing he could, and it was out of character--maybe that was the point? It's even more puzzling than Betty's attraction to Henry. And of course Roger, having married one of Don's previous secretaries, is congratulating Don the quickest and loudest.

Remember, too, that when Faye and Don first met, she told him he'd be remarried within a year. I assumed at the time that the line would end up coming true in regard to Faye herself.

And even the answer to Joan's situation was a bit of a fake-out, though certainly the one most people saw coming. But again, it doesn't fit with everything else we've seen. What if the baby looks like Roger? Greg is so jealous, he's not going to miss that. Or is this maybe the clue that Greg won't be coming back from Vietnam after all? And the business about her breasts being bigger from the pregnancy was kind of a sideways smirk at all the fuss made about Christina Hendricks's voluptuousness.

I guess we'll all have plenty to ponder and discuss until next summer. First question to my mind is, when will the story pick up? Will we see Joan in the last trimester of her pregnancy? The poor woman will barely be able to stand. Will we see Don and Megan's wedding? I kind of think they'll just go down to city hall.

18 October 2010

Expense Report #28

No shoes this week--I need to take at least a couple more weeks off from that. I did buy a shirt from L.L. Bean Signature, my first purchase from the line. Since the Mrs. and the Proper Bostonian both enjoy making fun of how many shirts I have, I have been following a closet policy of "one in, one out" for shirts, and I did not deviate from this practice.

Bean was offering 20% off everything last weekend, and free shipping, which I get from them all the time anyway, along with free returns, because I have a Bean Visa card. Another perk of this card is that I accumulate $10 credits. I believe you can apply only one per order, but they do allow you to use them with other discounts, so I got $10 off the shirt on top of the 20% off, which brought a $60 shirt down to $37.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fit. I had been led to believe that Bean Signature was cut very slim, but at least as far as the shirts go, this one is not as slim as others in my closet. (My Lands' End Canvas shirts are cut slimmer than this one.) This shirt in large is almost exactly the same size as a J. Crew extra large, but with the added benefit of the sleeves being a more reasonable length on me. Unlike some people, I don't care what size is on the label, as long as it fits.

17 October 2010

This Week in Awesome (10/16/10)

Foiled again... busier yesterday than I'd expected to be.

Who doesn't enjoy time-lapse videos? This one is of the dismantling of an old building in Paris and the construction of its replacement. (The Daily What)

Here's an interactive map of Springfield, the home town of the Simpsons. Someone put a lotta work into this, folks. (The Daily What)

This guy was having a good day--he'd just passed his driving test--then it all went downhill. Bonus: video. (Story: AP via Jalopnik; video: Gawker TV)

Have you noticed that sometimes movies or shows will appear in your Netflix Watch Instantly queue, then sometimes they drop off the list before you have the chance to watch them? The site Feedfliks aims to help you keep track of these comings and goings. (Consumerist)

14 October 2010

Live from New York...

Did you watch the live episode of 30 Rock? I know I didn't mention it beforehand, and of course I should have. It was a lot of fun--lots of great guest stars, a couple of them unexpected, and a clever gimmick for doing flashback cutaways in the live setting.

They're doing the whole episode live again for the west coast, and NBC will be posting both the east coast and west coast episodes on their site; I'll update this post with a link when they do.

Who says I don't care about any other shows besides Mad Men?

Update: As promised, you can watch the east coast and west coast episodes at these links on Hulu.

Update 2: The Vulture blog compiled a list of all the differences they could spot between the two airings.

13 October 2010


But wait, there's more... shoes.

Back in the spring, when I bought a pair of light tan suede bucks from Lands' End, I talked about some other buck-style shoes I'd seen at Nordstrom. For fall, they have returned, but with the traditional brick-red rubber soles instead of the goofy white ones, and in seasonally appropriate colors. They are sold under the store's 1901 house brand.

I was very excited to find that these shoes were being offered in gray, because I've been looking for a pair of gray bucks with red soles for some time. I hadn't been in Nordstrom in a while, so I discovered the shoes while looking at their site. They are offering free shipping with any shoe purchase, and the bucks are available in regular, narrow, and wide widths, so I ordered up a pair of the gray ones. (They are also available in the traditional dark khaki "dirty buck" color, dark brown, navy, loden, a very odd mustardy gold, and rust.)

For $100, these shoes are a very good value: they have excellent cushioning in the footbeds, are fully leather lined (this isn't that common at the $100 price point), and are made in Brazil, which isn't Italy or the US, but it isn't China either. There was only one problem: the toes were worn down or something. The nap of the suede was gone, and they looked black in front. The Mrs. said she thought they looked like it had been done on purpose. I kind of thought she was right, but I hoped she wasn't. I went back and looked at the shoes online; it wasn't obvious from the pictures that there was anything going on with the toes, or I would not have ordered them.

Over the weekend I took them back to the store (anything you buy online from Nordstrom can be returned to a store, saving the cost of sending it back to them if there's one near you). Sure enough, a salesperson in the shoe department explained to me that the "burnished" (her word) appearance of the toes was so "they look like you've had them for a long time." I decided not to bother trying to explain to her why this was a terrible idea.

I was going to just return the shoes, but she pointed out to me that the dirty buck ones did not have the distressed toes (perhaps in a gesture of appeasement to fussy old guys like me?), so I exchanged the gray ones for those. I figured, they are really comfortable shoes, which aren't always that easy for me to find these days, and the dark khaki is probably easier to coordinate with than the gray ones would have been. But I still hope to find gray ones some time.

12 October 2010

Expense Report #27

Last week was shoe week. As part of my goal to upgrade my shoe choices, I went to check out the Allen Edmonds sale. Most of their shoes are made in the United States (a few styles are made in Italy, and a couple in the Dominican Republic). Having never owned any AE shoes, I figured it was a good idea to go to the store so I could try on the shoes and make sure I got the right size.

In Boston we have two AE stores: one on Newbury Street, two doors down from Brooks Brothers, and one on State Street on the corner of Devonshire, across from the northbound entrance to the State T station (for you suburban types, there's also one in the mall in Natick). Both stores are more or less on my way home from work, but I decided it was a bit easier and quicker for me to get off the train at State and get back on when I was finished. This store is a tiny sliver of a space, but that makes me like it more. It's cozy and calm inside.

When's the last time you went to buy shoes and actually had someone measure your foot with a Brannock device? I couldn't even remember. I tend to be a 10.5 in better-quality shoes, and this was confirmed. I impressed on the salesman my need for a wide shoe, which he agreed with--to a point. He said that getting shoes in wide was fine for lace-ups, but that for loafers I should go with medium, because they would be more likely to stretch and mold to my feet. I'm not sure I agree with this--for one thing, I have a pair of Sebago penny loafers in size 11 medium that I wore a few times but can no longer deal with because they're too painful, and I should have gotten wide. For another thing, I tend to wear thicker socks.

I ended up buying a pair of medium brown moc-toe lace-ups with contrast stitching and rubber soles. Most AE shoes are dressier, but they do have styles that work well in business casual settings. The shoes are very comfortable, and they make me feel more grown-up when I'm wearing them. That may be because they set me back $200, and yes, that was the sale price; they're normally almost $250.

I have to look at the purchase as a long-term investment in my feet, and if I'm going to do that, I might as well at least do it when they're on sale. There was more than one style that I liked, and at some point in the next six months or so I'll be looking to get another pair. But when I'm ready to do that, I can at least look for them on eBay or Style Forum, or go up to the AE outlet store in Freeport and see if they have what I want.

One other thing: the next day I looked for Brannock devices on eBay, and found one in excellent condition for $18. I'd been thinking about getting one for a while, primarily because it's a classic piece of American industrial design, and also it's just a cool object. Sometimes I like to have certain things just because they're cool or interesting.

11 October 2010

Mad Men Season 4, Episode 12: "Blowing Smoke"

[Standard disclaimer: I have avoided reading any other recaps, writeups, or other commentary on this episode before writing this, so if I express something similar to thoughts you've read elsewhere, it's entirely a coincidence. If you have not watched the episode, assume there are spoilers ahead and act accordingly.]

I felt like we were treading water a bit this week. Not a lot happening at the agency, other than the start of layoffs. Of course they're saving any significant events for the final episode of the season, but I'm not expecting anything as big as last year, mainly because from the story-telling point of view, it doesn't make sense to have a game-changing scenario two seasons in a row.

The writers used this episode to have some fun at the expense of the tobacco industry. Aside from the obvious, we had Danny asking if the ad meant Don was going to stop smoking (the same thought had crossed my mind before he said it), Roger puffing away while telling the partners about the call from the American Cancer Society, and Glen offering Sally a cigarette, which she declined. (Where does a kid his age get cigarettes? Probably stealing them from neighborhood houses.)

Even though Don's encounter with Midge ultimately gave him the idea for the Times ad, the incident still left a bitter aftertaste. I think we have a tendency to think of the first half of the 1960s as a more innocent time, but people were still struggling with drug addiction before the Summer of Love. I think Don wanted to help Midge, but knew there was nothing he could do.

Betty says she doesn't need to see a psychiatrist, but she still wants to have her monthly chat with Dr. Edna. Sally's probably made more progress than Betty has, though now it looks like the Francises will be moving away from Ossining, which could wipe out whatever progress Sally has made.

Harry's desk is completely ridiculous.

Did Cooper just give up?

09 October 2010

This Week in Awesome (10/9/10)

So yeah, I was kind of busy yesterday, like I was saying I might sometimes be. Today we were up in Rockport with some friends--it was an absolutely perfect day to be out walking around a cute seaside town.

Interestingly, there are no videos in this week's collection, which made me realize how much we've come to take online video for granted.

An illustrated alphabet of douchebaggery. (The Daily What)

Do your photos need to be punched up with more guns, explosions, and such? Use the Bayifier. (Vulture)

I love this one: maps of the world, as seen through the stereotyped eyes of its various nations. (Very Short List)

Rebrand yourself in the questionable style of the Gap's new (and possibly short-lived) logo. (The Awl)

07 October 2010

Watch Wednesday Thursday (10/7/10)

Sorry about that... we went grocery shopping last night, and when we got back I completely forgot I was supposed to do a watch post.
This story goes all the way back to 2003, when the movie SWAT came out. There were two styles of Hamilton watches worn by the characters in the movie: this one, and a fancier version with touch controls borrowed from Tissot. They were sold to the public as limited editions, and I wanted one of these right away.

I looked for one for a while on eBay, but then I got laid off and tried to avoid buying stuff for a while. A couple of years later, Hamilton re-released the watch, but without any mention of the movie (the movie watches came with an aluminum box). The second batch of watches floated around the web for a while, and eventually you could get one at Overstock. I really don't know why I didn't just buy one then.

So I've been looking for one of these, on and off, for a while now. A couple of months back I found a seller on eBay who seemed to have a stockpile of them; the person would auction one watch each week, and start a new auction as soon as one ended. They weren't the movie watches either, because they had just a regular box.

The problem was that people were bidding these things way past what they are worth; one auction ended at over $300, which is just ridiculous. It's just a basic quartz Hamilton field watch with a couple of minor differences: the black plastic bezel, the red numerals, a flat rubber strap. Luckily I found someone else selling one, and it has been well taken care of because it looks like a new watch.

And yes, I'm probably going to get a different strap for it, but for now this one is fine.

05 October 2010

Mad Men Season 4, Episode 11: "Chinese Wall"

This episode was almost entirely focused on the agency, as Lucky Strike's decision to take its business away from SCDP got out (given what we already know about Lee Garner Jr., did you really think he would keep his 30-day promise to Roger?) and began to affect their relationships with other clients. Only two episodes left--wait, what?

[Standard disclaimer: I have avoided reading any other recaps, writeups, or other commentary on this episode before writing this, so if I express something similar to thoughts you've read elsewhere, it's entirely a coincidence. If you have not watched the episode, assume there are spoilers ahead and act accordingly.]

After this dramatic development emerged last week, I was thinking that I would have expected it to ramp up closer to the end of the season, as has been the case with the agency storylines in the past two seasons, so I guess we should be expecting at least one or two more twists in the story before this season is done.

The other thing I thought of after last week's writeup is Conrad Hilton: Hilton Hotels would be a large enough client to keep the agency afloat. I admit that it seems sort of obvious, but Hilton did tell Don that he hoped they could work together again at some point, and the show has a tendency to revisit significant characters, so maybe Don reaches out to him.

If you're the sort who likes to dig really deep for possible signs or clues, let me point out that when Roger called Joan during his faked trip to try to salvage the Lucky Strike account, he told her he was staying at the Statler, the full name of which at the time was the Statler Hilton (it's now the Hotel Pennsylvania, across from Madison Square Garden).

Speaking of Roger, he's a mess. The loss of his only real work-related responsibility has left him questioning his identity, his self-worth, and his very existence (he made vague noises about ending his life last week) and his partners certainly feel that he has let them down. Even Joan, who probably understands Roger better than anybody, is no comfort to him when he needs her--she has her own reasons for feeling that way, but she made it clear she's with the others regarding the agency's situation as well, and she sees what I think maybe Roger doesn't, at least not yet: that he brought this on himself.

When Roger finally goes home, to the person who should be his primary source of comfort, he looks and acts like he doesn't even want to be there. Jane shows him his memoir (vanity published, it would seem)--well-intentioned, but at the worst possible moment. And it's obvious he hasn't told her a thing about what's going on at work. I couldn't help but think that if Roger had stuck with Mona (and stayed faithful to her), she would have been able to give him the support and comfort he so desperately needed at that moment.

Don would have liked some comfort from Faye, but they had a disagreement about business ethics, which made his behavior with Megan even more ethically questionable than it would otherwise have been. I'm not necessarily trying to be a defender of Don here, but I could see how Faye might have made him think she wanted to break up with him, and Megan really threw herself at Don, and he did make at least a token attempt to resist, but can a man really resist a woman in that situation?

Megan made it clear that she knew what she was doing. She is certainly more self-possessed than lovestruck Allison; in fact, she acted like a man, and on some level I think that bluntness, that open display of her desire, was what Don was responding to. But I suspect Megan wants something, in the way that Jane wanted what Roger could give her.

And then Don goes home and finds Faye in the process of slipping a note under his door, so of course we're supposed to think she is breaking up with him, but no--she's arranged a meeting for him with a potential client. Now Don has to lie to another woman, after he's tried to be (at least partially) honest with her, and after she's decided to breach her Chinese wall for him.

Parallels again: both Faye and Megan seem to be trying to help Don keep his drinking under control. Jane snugged up against Roger on the sofa, then in the next scene Faye did exactly the same thing with Don.

Meanwhile, Peggy takes it to the next level with Abe, who still hasn't quite learned when to keep his mouth shut (she points this out to him), and floats into work late the next day, all dreamy until she learns what's happened. She reacts as though it's some sort of punishment--Catholic guilt, still undefeated--but that struck me as somewhat out of proportion. Peggy's had four or five lovers that we know of, so does she always feel this way the first time she has sex with someone?

To the surprise of exactly no one, Stan manages to be an even bigger jerk. Payback's a bitch, buddy. Plus, Lucky Strike's exit--assuming the agency survives--opens the door for the possible return of Sal Romano. Who would you rather work with?

04 October 2010

Expense Report #26

Last week I bought a watch, but you'll have to wait until this week's Watch Wednesday to see and read about it.

Otherwise it was business as usual, although I did get a good deal on razor blades at drugstore.com: if you buy three Schick products they're taking $6 off, plus I had received an offer for $10 off a $20 purchase if I checked out via PayPal, so I ordered six packages of four Hydro 3 blade cartridges each. With this stockpile, I shouldn't need to buy any blades for at least 18 months, maybe even two years.

I believe the Schick offer is still available through this Wednesday, and drugstore.com ships really fast: my order shipped literally one hour after I had placed it, and it arrived two days later.

03 October 2010


Can someone please explain Kanye West to me? I'm referring specifically to his performances on last night's Saturday Night Live, but it's also more of a general question. Because I seem to be missing whatever it is everyone else thinks is so great about him.

02 October 2010

This Week in Awesome (10/2/10)

Still under the weather here, but slowly climbing back to feeling normal again, so this week's collection is a bit smaller than usual...

I haven't seen The Town yet, but I think anyone who lives around here, or has spent any time around here, can appreciate this takeoff. (ImprovAsylum via Universal Hub)

Photoshop Disasters is a blog devoted to the more egregious misuses of the image editing software. (Jezebel via Racked NY)

Watch this clip of a guy getting a piece of heavy excavating equipment onto a flatbed without the benefit of a ramp, and think about it next time you're trying to parallel park. (Jalopnik)

01 October 2010

The State of Things

After patting myself on the back Wednesday, it's time to come back to earth and see where things are.

First of all, this weather is disgusting, and it needs to go away. It's like soup out there. We're in October now, for crap's sake. I want some fall. I have stuff I want to wear, and talk about.

Second, I caught a cold somewhere (probably from the T), and it bloomed yesterday. At first it was just sneezing, so I thought it was regular allergies, but by the time I got home the various other symptoms were evident. I made it through the night with some slightly-expired NyQuil, and hit the drugstore on my way to work for a combo pack of NyQuil and DayQuil with vitamin C. We'll see how quickly I can beat this thing into submission.

You may have noticed that for the past month or so, things have been a bit off schedule sometimes. In particular, I haven't been doing many posts on Fridays. This isn't intentional, it's just worked out that way. A couple of months ago I took on some new responsibilities at work, with an attendant raise, change in title, and step up the job scale. It was a genuine promotion, something I hadn't been expecting.

Things have been going well, but of course, the added duties mean my time in the office isn't quite as... flexible as it used to be. In addition to my monthly deadline, I now have certain weekly and even daily tasks, and the structure of our business means that other people depend on me getting my work done on time.

That's probably the main reason I didn't take a sick day today. I contemplated it once or twice when I woke up during the night, but when my alarm went off I hopped right out of bed without considering staying home. But the truth is I probably should have stayed home. If things go all right today, I may leave early and try to catch some extra sleep.

I'll keep juggling things as fluidly as possible, but there may be days when I can't post, or a post doesn't appear at the expected time. I would love to do more TV writeups, but given the amount of time those have been consuming, I don't see being able to do it on my current schedule. (I had wanted to start a separate TV blog a long while back, but I just don't have the kind of time to invest to do it right.) And if I decide to keep doing Mad Men writeups next year, I may have to reevaluate what form those might take. But that's a decision I won't have to make for a while.