Monday, April 29, 2013

Kitchen Upcycled

I've always wanted a large kitchen that is decorated in a theme but until then most of my kitchen is DIY.  This little can sits on the counter and holds my sushi making tools. I made it from a clean coffee can and some contact paper. Because I don't really throw anything away I have a bunch of cans filling the shelves of my garage and so I'm always making them into something that I can use for years. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mad Men 6:01 & 6:02 The Doorway

Mad Men has been one of my favorite shows on TV for years now.  I have spent many hours re-watching episodes and reading all I can about the show and its creator, Matt Weiner.  Fans of the show know that this will be our second to last season and so the end begins.  Last season we left Don trying not to be a Dick (Whitman) and not doing a very good job. It wasn’t as jaw-dropping as season finales in the past but you got a sense of things to come. Not just for our characters but for the world as the late 60’s and all that changes with them is upon us. 

I usually get the episodes Monday morning through iTunes and this way I own them and can watch them without commercials. This means that my “Two Hour Premier” was really only and hour and thirty-four minutes. I remember reading that Matt Weiner has said in an interview that AMC asked him to do either a two hour premier or finale.  

This episode was very dark and morbid with a strong theme of death. It follows Don’s story but it also gives you stories for Peggy, Rodger and Betty.  This post will be about Don and Megan and then there will be more for the other three. There was a lot of catching up and a lot of pot smoking, but overall a great season opener.

We open with a first person view of someone having a heart attack and based on the sound of Megan in the background you assume that it’s Don. Then we see a Hawaiian paradise and have Don’s voice quoting The Inferno. It seems as though we are in some sort of death or dream state and then Megan charges her giant blue drink to their room and you see that they are on vacation. Dan really only takes working vacations so it’s no surprise that we find out that he’s on assignment for the Royal Hawaii Hotel. [Side Note: When I saw him reading a book, my Man Men spidey-sense started to tingle. We usually see Don reading magazines but in the past when he was reading a book it was either because of a woman (Rachel Menken) or a client (Honda)]

Other than his Inferno quote in the beginning Don barley speaks at all in these first few scenes. The audience can feel his disconnect from Megan but she doesn't seem to notice.  When she was approached for an autograph she seems a bit flustered like it’s a new experience but she signs it her maiden name and not “Draper”.  It seems a little strange that she wouldn't have taken his last name. I've heard people in the office call her Ms. Draper and it’s not like she was famous with her maiden name and that’s why she would use it professionally. It just makes me think how long they are going to last.

We see Don meet PFC Dinkins (it’s usually printed right there) and how uncomfortable Don is talking about war, both in Korea and Vietnam.  The conversation is quite morbid as he describes shooting the water buffalo with the machine gun. How he could paint the room red. It really shows how desensitized our soldiers come back from combat are. I know the war brings up powerful memories for Don for other reasons, but just watching him have to talk about it made me uncomfortable for him.

When flying from New York to Hawaii they would have had a layover in California. If they stopped at all to see Anna’s house or Stephanie then we didn't see it and it wasn't mentioned.  The last time I remember Don talking about the house was on the phone with Stephanie saying that she could stay there as long as she needed.  Maybe it was just too painful to go there knowing that Anna would not be.

We have a moment with Don and Dr. Rosen in the elevator and at Don’s office where we get to see Don be a dude, a bro, a friend. We get to see him be charming for no other reason than he can and he wants to be liked because he likes that person.  He’s not trying to please a client and he’s not trying to sleep with a women. I think back to Don and Lane’s Bro-Date and even the trouble Don and Rodger used to get into. It makes me think that maybe Don is making friends in the building and then the Doc skis off to save a life and I’m like “YES! Doc Rosen is a badass! He and Don should be BFFs.”  Then, I find out that Don’s diddling the guys wife and it all becomes clear. Don didn't give the Doc a camera because he’s a bro… he probably feels guilty about breaking the bro code. He probably feels more guilty about that than being unfaithful to Megan.

Oh Megan, poor Megan. At the New Year’s Eve party Megan is, of course, the perfect hostess making me think back to the days of Betty Draper stressing over company and Francine telling her “Oh Betty, you really do have the worst luck with entertaining.”  Megan is becoming a success and seems to have it all: an awesome apartment that we now know cost Don Seventy-Five Thousand dollars, youth, beauty, perfect husband and joints in her bikini bottoms. I can feel her bubble about to burst.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Upcycled Pallet Gardening Shelves - Back Yard

These shelves that I use for my garden supplies are made from an old discarded pallet. They were made by cutting the pallet in half and using some of it's wood as shelves. There is on on either side of our back door and give me much needed storage for gardening things and was best of all : FREE.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

From This Into That - Salad

Growing our own food has been an important part of our lives for years now and with summer right around the corner we have been planting up a storm.  One of our favorite year-round/indoor plants is this lettuce. The seeds come in a strip and it is really easy to grow.  It looks great and tastes just as good.  This salad also has the green onions growing in this window as well as carrots, croutons  Parmesan cheese and the dressing is a home-made oil and balsamic vinegar. YUM!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3

This is just a quick recap of how I felt about this last season of The Walking Dead.  I wanted to write reviews for each episode but it got away from me so I only did a few.  I plan on spending more time on my Mad Men reviews. What can I say? AMC has me hooked on Sunday nights.

As I look at this picture of the cast it makes me miss T-Dog. Even though his character didn't get much of an arc (we never even knew his last name!) he was still hard to watch die.  There were some fans of the books who thought that the T stood for Tyreese but that's just one more way that Robert Kirkman is taking the show a different direction. I have only read a few volumes but I know that in the graphic novels the Gov gets to torture and rape Michonne so I'm glad we didn't have to see that. It's almost as if Kirkman gets to make a new story for his same characters and I can see that he's having fun with it.  I've heard him interviewed on a few podcasts (the Nerdist and Doug Loves Movies podcasts stand out) and he's a funny guy but he's also kind of a dick.  I'm sure that this show is his baby though because it has lost more than one show runner due to "creative differences".

I miss Merle but mostly for his bad ass one-liners. I'm glad we got to see more of him this season but I hate the way he got the most screen time in the episode that he dies in. I would have liked to get to know him longer but his death is what I think is going to change Daryl. When he made the choice to stay with his brother even though he was quite an asshole, it really affected Rick. It was almost like it brought up unresolved feelings that Rick has regarding Shane. Merle is dangerous but Daryl won't leave him behind. Shane was dangerous and like a brother to Rick but he couldn't live in a world (even a post apocalyptic one) where his wife and best friend could be having a child together. Oh well maybe we'll get to see the Dixon brothers together in a flashback or fever dream.

I don't really miss Lori or Andrea. They were both weak and made decisions that made me roll my eyes or yell at the TV.  I thought Lori's death was important to show and was shot really well.  
Andrea just needed to die.  I'm glad Michonne got to be there and hopefully get a little closure. 

I was very happy that in episode 3:12-Clear we got to find out what happened to Morgan.  It just sucked that he ended up being bat shit crazy. They seem to be making a big deal out of Milton's tea when we first get to Woodbury in episode 3:03-Walk With Me and then it's never explained or even brought up again. I think my favorite thing this season was Michonne's "Walker-Gram" warning Merle to "GO BACK".  I'm getting a little sick of Maggie and Glenn but at least his proposal didn't make me want to gag too much.  Except the fact that he cut the ring off of a walker's hand. Gross Glenn, you couldn't have looted a jewelry store?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spray Paint Cans

Last summer I painted some soup cans and planted wildflowers in them to add some color to our backyard. All I had at the time was regular craft paint so as time pasted the color began to fade. They looked nice and lasted most of the summer but this year I wanted to make more using different colors.
Last year's pained flower cans
This year I used spray paint on the same cans and they turned out great. 
I can move them around to chase the sun or use them as a centerpiece.

Finished Cans With Flowers On Fence

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter Eggs

Garden DIY

 This last few days I've been spray painting cans to use as planters. Green and Blue are going to be the main outdoor colors with a little orange as well. I can't wait to hang them in the back yard with spring flowers!