Untying knots

Ick, sick at home. I think today is the first day of fall, isn’t it?  If it is, my being sick would make perfect sense. I always seem to get sick when the season changes, and also when the craziness at work subsides.  There is still much to do with my mother’s estate; I am planning on getting her house ready to sell, so now I have to become an expert at “staging,” which, in my understanding, is making a home as presentable and desirable as possible to get it sold. I have had some advice in this area, which has been very interesting for me, as I have absolutely no experience, nor any idea what I’m doing.

At the same time, I am beginning to make some slight progress on the house; the roof will be repaired next week, and one of the bathrooms (the one with walls – long story) is now deep blue and green, with a new sink and mirror.  The next step is new tile, and a new shower..I will definitely post pictures as rooms are completed; my house is a complete “before” picture, so I will be beyond thrilled when everything is transformed.  I know the house will never be completely done, but I already love having color on the walls, and am motivated to put more on other walls as soon as possible.

I had a massage yesterday, with a massage therapist named Mike that I’ve seen twice.  We discovered yesterday that I am a bundle of knots, and that I even have an incredible amount of tension in my jaws and temples.  I have a lot of very stressful, recurring dreams, about tsunamis, giant snakes, insects, rotting apartments  (the same rotting apartment in more than one dream; one that I’ve never seen in real life, and it feels like home whenever I dream about it), and being on the run from the police (I’m not on the run from the police, honestly; apparently, I enjoy being on the run in my dreams, though), and yesterday morning I woke up with my teeth sunk into my bottom lip. Mike tells me I’m holding a lot of tension – yup, biting through my bottom lip would be a good sign of that, I’ll bet. I need to start doing this:

And this:

Ok, maybe not that; maybe this:

I gave up yoga, but now I think I need to start it up again.  It’s hard for me, because I get annoyed at the moves, and I want it to be over – but if I concentrate on what I’m doing, I feel like a new person at the end of the class.

*****

I caught up on “Mad Men” today, and couldn’t help but draw similarities between Don Draper and Jax Teller.  Both are bad boys who are at the top of their social structures, with father issues and big appetites for women and power. Their uniforms may be different, but they fight some of the same battles, both internal and external.  And here they are, just in case you’re more visual than verbal:

Obssessed? Maybe – it is so nice to know that television hasn’t completely gone south, and that these two dramas (and many others I just can’t seem to find time to watch yet) are better than most of the movies I’ve seen this year.

Gotta go – started reading “On The Road,” (never read it, and it’s in my “started but never finished” bookcase), and I’m excited to get a good part of it read tonight.  My rule is to read one fiction and one non-fiction book at a time, and I’m also reading a book of letters between Kerouac and Ginsberg, which I think is a nice complement to “On The Road.”  I don’t know if any of this is interesting, but I enjoyed writing it, so here you go!

God and dog, TV, and a little more

Watching “The Daily Show;” Jon Stewart always makes me laugh – here are a few things that might make your week a little happier, and maybe more fun:

I fell behind on “Mad Men,”and took a shot at catching up on Sunday. If you haven’t been watching, you should start immediately.  And if you are already watching, take a peek at “Basket of Kisses,” a cool blog about the show. “Mad Men” is so much more than a period piece; one particular episode this season with Don Draper and Peggy winding up spending the night together reminded me more of theater than television. When Don, after trying and failing to catch a mouse, looks up at Peggy from the floor of his office, and says:  “You know, there’s more than one way out of this room,” he is definitely not just talking about the mouse escaping, but also about his own feelings of being trapped.  Superior writing and acting – I recommend starting with season 1, so you can see the development of the characters and the story lines.

The same goes for “Sons of Anarchy,” except that I am up-to-date on this one.   The show takes chances and shows me something new every week – you may not think that a drama about bikers is your taste, but it’s also about family, love, friendships, loyalty, betrayal, and more. The music for each episode is also high-quality, and Hal Holbrook and Stephen King are guest-starring this season. So what are you waiting for?

The band OK Go is becoming known for their innovative videos; I happened to see this one a few days ago, and had to share it.  The song “White Knuckles” is good, but the synchronized doggies tickle me like a thousand little Elmos (what does that mean? Dunno, but please watch this, OK?)

One more dog video ; it’s not a theme, just the way the universe lined up in my field of vision. Kleenex alert: this made me cry.  It’s not mushy, but it is sweet.

The word for the week? Forgiveness. I know several people who are dealing with the subject – I’m working on it myself, with my feelings about my mother.  Maybe we can all forgive one person this week for something that happened with them; true forgiveness is something special, and I know it’s not easy to do. I will do it if you will…and if you can’t forgive someone else, forgive yourself for something if necessary. Deal? OK, deal!

Night and morning again

Mom’s funeral was today; it’s over now, and I’m home. We had lunch after the service yesterday – there were eighteen friends and relatives who came to share stories, eat, laugh, and remember my mother.  I brought a stack of photographs from my parents’ days of dancing and nightclubs, and postcards from the ’40s that she saved, and passed those around.  It was a good way to end the day. I told Jamal that I feel like I’ve been on a very long trip , and now I’m back.  Tomorrow Jamal is getting on a plane for Italy; business is picking up, so he will be traveling more in the next few months.  My head is full of so much today, and yet I don’t seem to be able to put together a coherent thought tonight.  Will you indulge me if I indulge in some random hoo-hah, to clear out my brains from the week:

“Mad Men” starts Season 4 on Sunday night.  If you’ve never seen it, you can still start now.  I can’t add anything new to what has been said about this most excellent show, except if you want to experience fine drama, you can’t do much better than Don Draper and company.  It’s ’60s American Gothic (not the black hair/white face kind), it’s a comment on the damaged American Dream, and it’s unparalleled television.

I will also add that my other passion is beginning a new season on Tuesday, September 7th:

Very different from Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy is also riveting television.  It’s so good that I almost don’t want anyone else to watch it, because I want it all for myself (and maybe just a few other friends who already know about it).  Just as high-quality as Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy deserves nominations, and awards, and it’s stunning to me that no one from this show was nominated for anything this year, especially Katey Sagal.  Whatever, Emmy people – if you can’t nominate that which deserves recognition, how do we take these awards seriously?

I saw “Despicable Me” in 3-D, and you should, too.  It is weird and fun:

3-D is so much better than it used to be,  by the way – the glasses are shrink-wrapped, and kind of look like vintage Ray-Bans; and the 3-D experience itself is big fun, because now it works (it was 50-50 back in the day, as to whether you would actually be able to see the 3-D effects with the glasses on, they were cardboard, with one blue lens and one red lens, and if you squinted, you could sorta make out a 3-D monster coming at you, but no promises).

*****

I just got back from the airport.  The weekend is ahead; it will be a relief to have two days where the biggest decision I have to make is what to have for lunch. I have an exit poll for you; it came up while I was looking through photos –

Thanks for sharing; have a good weekend.