Mad Men

Mad Men- Just the title of this TV series makes me smile. Have you checked out this show? It premiered in 2007, but I am just getting around to checking it out. Once Friends and Sex and the City ended…so ended my TV viewing. But a co-worker told me about this show and I need a good summer obsession, so I checked it out.

Set in the 1960’s, this series centers around Madison Avenue ad execs. Historically it depicts both the advertising giants who shaped the way we think about certain products and how we approached advertising for 40+ years (until today…social media has created a major paradign shift). Blah blah blah. That aspect is somewhat interesting. As are the affairs and scandles. What is really interesting to me is the role of women.

I honestly can’t believe how much the role of women in society has dramatically changed since the 1960’s. Let’s just say I wouldn’t have been a very good 60’s woman. One lady is experiencing serious neurological problems causing her to shake terribly at times. They attribute it to stress and her husband sends her to a shrink to talk it through (he, of course, drives her into the city for her appointments and meets his lover for a quicky while she is seeing the shrink…and I found it interesting that he keeps freshly pressed shirts in his desk drawer so he can frequently have quickies and erase the trace of a lover). The women are depicted as stupid, childlike and clueless. Even the women in the workplace- there are a few copy writers, but most of the women are secretaries who the men prey on for lunch and afterwork fun. The men behave like children as well. The workday seems more like a frat party- shots before meetings, everyone smokes and cocktails for breakfast.

I am really intrigued by this way of life. It’s so foreign. I honestly can’t believe how hard the women before me had to work to open the doors for me. Thank you to all for paving the way for my success and thank God men have grown up!

Bocce Ball Tournament

Have you ever spent an afternoon on the beach playing bocce ball? I never dreamed that it could be a competitive sport. On Saturday morning, 168 people gathered for a bocce ball tournament as a benefit for the Special Olympics. My first bocce ball tournament!

We started at 8:30 am. Let’s just say by 10:00 C. was asking where the beer was.

The perfect balance...Beer in one hand. Ball in the other.

His game was a little off balanced without a beer in hand.

We played at a really beautiful park– people came out with their families, dogs, coolers and beach blankets. It was a really cool concept. Our team was off to a shaky start losing our first match…but as I mentioned as soon as the beers started flowing…it was GAME ON.

And believe it or not…our team made it to the final four!  What a fun little competition. We’ll be back next year to bring home the championship!

Team SP Bocce Ballers

Another Day…Another Cheese

Thank God this week is over. A little yoga and some QT with C. A perfect ending to a not so perfect week. Completely exhausted. But there must be something new I can find to blog about at the 11th hour. I’ll turn to one of my ol’ faithful subjects and a newyears resolution: cheese!

Though the fresh market doesn’t have the cheese selection of Whole Foods, they usually have some really great seasonal cheeses and its on my way home. So I wheel in after yoga. I knew we had a really good bottle of wine- a cab- so now to find the perfect cheese.  There weren’t too many choices that I have never tried before. But I managed to find a hard cheese and a soft cheese.

First selection was a white cheddar with cranberries and chipotle peppers. (made CarrValley Cheese Company in WI). I love a good white cheddar cheese…mix in a little sweet and a little spicy- one would think heaven…but I think that the cheese dude forgot to put the cranberries into the mix. It was HOT so really it was a hot, dry cheese that made me thirsty. I think that maybe I should have pairded it with a little cranberry chutney. It definitely needed something creamy and sweet to pair down the dry, hot flavors of cheddar and chipotle. Not to worry…all will not be wasted and I will try again with a little something sweet. I give it an A+ for appearance- nice light yellow color with red marbling. Oh and I do like to retro look of the label.

Next- Fromager d’affinois, a French double cream soft cheese made from cow’s milk. I liken it to a cross between camembert and brie. I don’t have a lot to say about this cheese. Very rich. Very delish. I really love creamy French cheese. Haven’t met one that I didn’t enjoy. It helps that is paired with bread (a baguette) and because of my carb addiction, I was not satisfied until half of the baguette was finis avant diner! Oh well.

I am sad to report that since enjoying this tasty cheese, I have learned more about it and I probably won’t be enjoying the remainder of the wedge…Basically it goes through a process that removes much of the water making it ultra concentrated, super rich in nutrients and you guesses it, a high fat content of nearly 60%. I’ll put this cheese in the category of “special occasions”.

When getting a cavity filled is like going to the spa…

Do you ever get the feeling that sometimes something in the universe is working against you? Miscommunications, small accidents, bad health, mistakes….and no matter what you do, things just don’t seem to be aligned? Well…that’s been me for the past two weeks. Cancer place, cavity, silly mistakes, hot tea spills on important papers, etc

I had the WORST day imaginable at work. Nothing went right. I was completely thrown under the bus..smushed flat on the pavement. Luckily I have a good boss who helped clean me off of the pavement. But anyway…work was so crappy that I actually was looking forward to having my cavity filled. I bounced into the dentist office and relaxed into the chair. Ok…not my first cavity. But my new thing today was actually enjoyed getting a filling. Seriously today’s new thing was finding pleasure in getting a cavity filled. Who “enjoys” getting a filling. You know things are tough when a trip to dentist seems relaxing.

That is how bad my day was. The needle…easy…the drilling….a piece of cake. It made me really gain perspective. Life’s challenges are all relative to your own perspective and how you look at the challenge.  I was looking forward to some peace and quiet in the dentist chair- no phone, no email, no difficult co-workers…And I had a new experience. My face was completely numb, from my nose to my mouth…couldn’t feel a thing. I probably could have had a very different outcome if I had framed it up differently in my mind. But today…Doc Watson was my friend.

Someone told me that when Mercury is in retrograde- things can go awry…and it’s in retrograde…or just coming out. So that could explain things if you believe in cosmic forces. Here’s a link if you want to read more: Next retrograde isn’t until August so if I can just make it a couple more days, I think we’ll be back to smooth sailing.

Remembering Casper

I grew up in a small town – there were the haves and the have nots…and really not a lot in between. I was fortunate to be part of the haves. My mom had lots of people who were regular help for her around the house…inside and out. But Mr. Casper is the one who really stands out. Casper worked for my family for nearly his whole life. (Sylvia, Ida and Tony stand out as well…but none were as regular as Casper). Mom grew up knowing Casper as Pepsi Cola. When he first came to work for my grandmother, the girls, mom and her sisters, didn’t know his name and he always came to the door wanting a pepsi cola, so they just called him Pepsi Cola (in eastern NC…Pepsi was king).

Casper was old my whole life. He always wore a plaid shirt and blue jean overhauls. He was a skinny man and referred to his wife as “the madam”. In middle school he used a walking cane to help him when he mowed the lawn and all of the neighbors just knew he was going to die mowing our lawn (he didn’t – of course). He just wouldn’t quit working. Though he outlived my grandmother, when they were both old, they would work in the garden together. Mama would dig the hole and Casper would put the plant in and cover it up. When he was too old to take the eastern NC heat, he began working in the house…where he worked until he was too feeble. He was part of our family. My mom even let him keep working after he ruined a newly french silk covered chair because he used it to balance with his furniture polish hand as he walked around the room. Imagine the beating I would have gotten had that been me. We loved Casper.

Why all this talk of Casper…I just began reading a new book- The Help. I started it today and I can’t help but think about Casper, Ida, Sylvia, Tony and even my friend Anndrea’s nanny- Maggie. Many of us raised in the south can relate to having “help” who were like a part of our family.It’s interesting to me how much change can occur from one generation to another. For sure, my children won’t know about having “help”…actually…they will be the “help”!!!!!!!!!!!

Office Attire: Pink Lilly

In the spirit of Jimmy, today I wore Lilly to work…Lilly Pulitzer that is. Now that is something new. A total deviation from my buttoned up suit! First, I rarely wear Lilly at all. But every Spring, usually late April, I have an urge to purchase something Lilly. So I have a few pieces in my collection.

Today I wore a bright pink linen tunic with a gold embroidered neck and hem line. I paired it with white pants and a pair of gold pumps. I definitely felt like a little piece of Spring. And I must admit, I looked more like a lady who lunches than a girl trapped behind a computer all day! But it felt good. And it served as a reminder for why I work so hard…so I can go to tropical places and wear my Lilly! ok- so that is a bit of a stretch since I really am more of a white tank top and terry cloth skirt kind of girl.

I probably won’t step out of my box that far again when it comes to clothing. There is something really comforting in the boundaries that I create between work and pleasure…and clothes are such a defining thing for me… I don’t think I like blurring the lines. But hey…I tried something new.

Encore Jimmy!

Monday…dreadful…Monday. What can I do today to make it through another Monday? No matter how much I love my job (and I do), Mondays are never fun (mainly because C and I have so much fun on the weekend). To soothe the workday stress (when I am not in meetings or on conference calls), I listen to some tunes. Reggae for creativity, French for stress and Michael Buble to calm. Notice, I haven’t mentioned Jimmy or Kenney…they are good for everything. One song and I am transported to the islands…my paradise.

Jimmy recently released a new album. BUT for some reason he only released to Amazon and Wal-Mart. I had to wait a bit for it to finally arrive on iTunes. So today it was finally there and I purchased the new CD which has a compilation of live classics like “Come Monday” and one of my favorites “He Went to Paris”.  What a fun filled afternoon I had jammin out to Jimm…pretending to be in Vegas at a concert. Sometimes it just takes a little imagination to create an office adventure!  Not to mention what the relaxed feel does for my creativity. Stay tuned to learn what I cooked up this afternoon. It’s gonna be big.

And btw- Jimmy’s new CD “Encore” really is great. Worth the purchase. Can’t wait try it out on the boat.